AMSTERDAM – Ernest S. Hempstead, 73, passed away on Saturday, July 25, 2020 after a long illness. He was born on March 29, 1947 in Catskill. He grew up mainly in the State of Florida, and visited regularly with his uncles, Dean and Fred Simpson in Freehold, and his aunts, Alice Wyckoff Hinman in Gilboa and Emily Story in Middleburgh. Ernest went to war in Vietnam. Following discharge, he came back to work with his uncle Dean in the well drilling business. Ernie started his own company, Gilboa Drilling in 1974 and worked with his cousin, Walter Fred Wyckoff during the early days. They worked for many years together but finally split in 1992, remaining close cousins and friends. Ernie built a successful business until his illness. He was very generous, and loved children. His business associate in later years was David Oliver Jr., and he was like a son to Ernie. Ernie is survived by his mother, Elsie Stauch of Florida. His lifelong friends are David Winans, and Ernie’s former secretary, Karen Goff, who helped him through his many years of illness. Ernie is predeceased by his sister, Linda Carpenter. Ernie’s ashes will be buried privately in Freehold Cemetery. A memorial will be celebrated at a later date. Condolence page is available at ajcunninghamfh.com.