homepage logo

Erna Kittleson Eischen, 69

Jan 16, 2010

Tonawanda, N.Y. — Erna M. Eischen, a music teacher who instructed hundreds of students in piano and voice, died Nov. 9, 2009 at her Town of Tonawanda home. She was 69.

Born in Elmore, the former Erna Ziegler earned a master’s degree from Mankato State University in 1977. In Mankato, she led a choral group of fourth- to eighth-graders, which recorded its own record album.

When teaching in Mankato she organized 25 elementary students into a Minnie Music Group who competed at Six Flags, Texas and public schools. Erna also taught Home Economics and Music in Cloquet and Amboy and Music in Winnebago.

After moving to the Buffalo area, she taught at Medaille College from 1983 to 1985, the Buffalo School of Music in 1985 and 1986, and the Christian Central Academy from 1995 to 1998.

A longtime member of the Music Forum for Piano Teachers of Western New York, she was treasurer of the organization after serving as president for the past four years.

Mrs. Eischen was very active in First Trinity Lutheran Church, where she founded and led a Family Movie Night, founded a ministry to the military and led three mission teams to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina relief.

Surviving are her husband, Kenneth; three sons, C. James Kittleson, Gary T. Kittleson and Kurt A.; her mother, Lillie Ziegler; three sisters, Jeanette Fenske, Carolyn Halverson and Helen Wicks; and a brother, Don Ziegler.

Services were held at First Trinity Lutheran Church, Tonawanda with a graveside service in Elmore.

The City and County of Tonawanda Councils issued a Proclamation of Erna Kittleson Eischen for her volunteer work in behalf of youth organizations in New York and benefits and work to help New Orleans rebuild their homes.