Olivia Lauren Ernst was born 12 days past her due date in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, but she was already stripped of her newborn clothes. She left Marquette, Michigan at the young age of 31. Her tremendous light, intelligence, beauty, creativity, humor and care for people, animals and nature are dear to all who knew her.
Olivia is an accomplished scholar, having a BA in English and Literature/Literature, cum laude (Northern Michigan University) and an MA in Medieval English Literature, cum laude (University of Colorado, Boulder). She completed her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) coursework on a full scholarship in Early Medieval Literature (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
A scholar of Old English and Old Norse, and of pre-modern literature more broadly, her particular intellectual interest was in poetic prosody. She was the first contributing editor of the Old English Poetry Facsimile Project (OEPF). One of her lasting contributions to this project is her edition of A Journey Charm, a medieval charm aimed at helping women through their childbirth, which OEPF is now Dedicated to her memory.
Olivia was a published author, a respected and empathetic educator, and a talented artist and musician who played bassoon, bass guitar, piano, and flute.
Olivia’s parents dreamed of her as soon as they met and soon after they got married they started trying to conceive. After three and a half years they learned of her pregnancy and in November 1990 Olivia finally arrived. She is the most beautiful child ever born.
As a newborn baby, when she was in tears, cuddling, breastfeeding, and failing to sleep, she was healed by Shakespeare’s sonnets. , Macbeth, Henry IV Part 1, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Tempest and other Shakespeare works.
Around 18 months old, Olivia had a passion for pronunciation, meaning, and later the magic of words, calling one of her grandmothers “Nana”, so bananas had to be pronounced “B(!)-Nanas”. claimed to have Soon after, when she was shown four tulip flowers in a vase, she vehemently claimed that they were not tulips but “four lips”.
From age 1 to 3, Olivia happily rode an old pony named Barbie and played in and around Lake Superior in the sun and snow when she visited Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She called it “my lake” from the moment she was able to put the two words together. She enjoys dressing up, snorkeling in the bathtub, tinkering with her own toddler comedy, devouring books, singing songs, making art, and has an interest in pretty much anything that works, and her grandmother She helped her with sewing and knitting, and was an avid helper in her family’s kitchen. and at her stables boarding with her grandparents’ horses.
Olivia loves hearing made-up stories about the adventures of Bella the Cat, watching Science Guy Bill Nighy, listening to cassette tapes of all kinds of foreign languages and music from her own collection and the Peter White Public Library. enjoyed the book. Around the age of four, she announced her plans to become an animal lawyer. At the age of five, she discovered her lifelong love for The Beatles (preferring apples). Around the age of six, Harry Potter brought her his continued interest and comfort in reading her fantasy and her science fiction over the decades. She’s also the master of K’Nex, her creator of laser-focused mass-produced beanies She’s Baby She’s House She’s also become a designer and builder (found an entire attic one summer filled with tiny houses made out of objects).
Olivia had a fascination with school and pretend play before she was old enough to attend school. She couldn’t wait to get started. On her first day of kindergarten, her parents planned to take her to the classroom and support her transition. He advised me to go to bed early and always have an extra breakfast the next morning.
When she started school, she introduced her parents to the joy of parent-teacher meetings. It was reassuring to her to know that her teachers and students experienced her with the same reverence and love that her family did. Her keen curiosity and sensitive mind seem to have influenced everyone she came in contact with in her life.
In the early grades of elementary school, Olivia took dance, karate and art lessons. She spent endless hours at her park in Elwood A. Matson Lower Her Harbor on Lake Superior and climbed Sugarloaf Her Mountain almost every day one summer. She then lived in southern Michigan again, playing soccer, joining cheerleaders, enjoying Destination Imagination, holding a seat on student council, and volunteering in the Kitten Room at the Capital Area Humane Society. bottom. From age 13 to her 18, she spent time between East Her Lansing and Ann Arbor, developing her lifelong friendships in each city.
On the first day of middle school, a new school that has just moved to East Lansing, Michigan, Olivia launches a campaign for student council president, culminating in a well-crafted speech about making change that most deeply astonished teachers and administrators. reached.
In high school, Olivia swam competitively, played bassoon and bass guitar in bands, held a bassoon chair in the Mid-Michigan Youth Symphony throughout the region, and was active in the German Club (a trip to Germany) and the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). I participated in. , GSA prom planning support, etc. She also co-created online comics and worked at a local computer repair and her LAN game center. She loved spending time with her friends and especially enjoyed playing her games.
At the end of tenth grade, after months of deep frustration, grief, and a craving for academic challenges, Olivia quit public school. She was educated at her home online through her school’s off-campus programs at Kronrara and continued to chair symphony orchestras throughout the region. At age 17, she earned her GED and her ACT, and soon enrolled in her first college of choice, the University of Northern Michigan (on the shores of the lake), where she received her long-awaited honors. I secured a place in the dormitory.
When Olivia turned 18, after months of planning and saving, she got a tree of life tattoo across her torso.
Later, as a teaching assistant in graduate school, Olivia took pride in sharing her own stories and parts of her nontraditional academic path with students. A self-proclaimed “high school dropout,” with a GED and her ACT score of almost insane, she has achieved great success in her academic career due to her sheer determination and hard work. During her studies for her master’s degree in Boulder, she was scouted and eventually flown to California by Stanford University.
Olivia had a deep, visceral interest and interest in our world. She had a lifelong love of puzzles of all kinds. Most notably, not long before she died, she befriended and discovered a kinship by helping take care of a puppy named Connie.
A visual representation of Olivia’s essence is the award-winning, poster-board-sized colored pencils she drew when she was younger.
Olivia’s meditative methods, the joy she brings to life, her playfulness live on in the people and animals she touches. Mourning, celebrating and loving Olivia her life and her heart is to love the whole world.
Olivia is survived by her mother Kintra (Sam) Stryker, father Scott Ernst, grandparents Carol and Dale McCarty and Elaine Ernst, aunt R. Lucy Ernst, best friend Savannah Elkins, uncle, brother-in-law and cousin. , nieces and nephews-in-law, and survived by the greats. Her aunts, uncles, countless friends, colleagues and former students.
Olivia’s memorial services were held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Madison, Wisconsin, and Lansing, Michigan. A private family memorial service will be held at her beloved Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan.
“…here lies the deepest secret that no one knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the empty sky of the tree called life; it is the soul that the soul desires and the heart can hide grows taller than) and this is the wonder that separates the stars
I carry your heart (I carry in my heart) ”
You can plant a tree in Olivia’s memory by planting a sympathy shop or 1 tree. Donations can be made to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Planned Parenthood, an organization Olivia strongly supported during her lifetime.
Published by Legacy Remembers, January 12 to January 14, 2023.