JAMESTOWN — Former Under Sheriff and acting Sheriff Jerome Ernewein is being remembered as a true public servant following his death Wednesday at age 81.
Ernewein, holds the distinct honor of being the only Sheriff’s Office personnel to hold every rank in the department, according to former Sheriff Joseph Gerace.
“He was a fantastic human being, compassionate, intelligent and was a perfect undersheriff,” Gerace told WNYNewsNow.
“He had a tremendous relationships with people and he remembered everybody,” Gerace recalled. “It was uncanny how he would know families and relationships with families. He had a good sense of humor and was a really devoted husband and father.”
“He was the only person we can find in the history of the department who held every rank from deputy” up to acting Sheriff, Gerace said, noting Ernewein also served as a criminal investigator.
Sheriff Jim Quattrone said he remembers Ernewein’s fairness and wisdom.
“I remember a time even with me, dealing with a complaint we had and he actually got the community member and myself together and we had a meeting and solved the issue,” Quattrone said.
“Under Sheriff Ernewein was not only respected in the agency but was well respected in the community,” Quattrone said.
Quattrone said Ernewein’s fairness and wisdom in taking on and solving problems is a standout memory for him.
“I am deeply saddened and my thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends. He was a true public servant,” he said, adding Ernewein was a lifelong member of the Chautauqua Fire Department.
He was a 1957 graduate of Jamestown High School and a U.S. Air Force veteran.
He was appointed deputy sheriff with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department in 1963 and became acting Sheriff in 1994 following the death of Sheriff John Bentley. He was appointed Undersheriff after Gerace was elected and served until2002, when he retired.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, in Holy Cross Cemetery, Jamestown. The Rev. Dennis W. Mende, pastor of Holy Apostles Parish, Ss. Peter & Paul Church, will officiate. Social distancing guidelines will apply.