Ernst Peter Gasteiger, 69, passed away unexpectedly after complications from a heart attack on Monday, January 16, 2023 at Harbor UCLA medical center. Ernie was born on July 11, 1953, in Olten, Switzerland, to Klara and Ernst Albert Gasteiger. The family left Switzerland in 1959 and lived in Melbourne, Australia, for three years. In 1962 they took another ocean voyage, this time to California, where they lived in Los Angeles and Hawthorne.

Ernie graduated from Leuzinger High School in Hawthorne with the Class of 1970. He attended El Camino College and graduated in 1974 with an Associate of Arts degree. Ernie worked at several different jobs until he created his business Keeweld in Gardena in 1983, building and repairing large welders throughout southern California. In the 1990s Ernie purchased the patents for Acme welders, becoming Keeweld Acme. In 2001 Keeweld Acme merged with Seedorff in Anaheim, becoming Seedorff Acme, from which he retired in 2022.

When not working, Ernie enjoyed different activities through the years like sailing, particularly with long-time friend Hannes Becker, Stekfigur art with his signature line-drawn face, making t-shirts and calendars with his art, pushing the limits of fashion sense with bright colors and patterns, keeping up with the latest in astronomy and science, listening to music, and family card games. 

Ernie and his wife, Margareta “Maedi” Becker met thanks to Ernie first meeting her brother, Hannes in 1967, who became his life-long friend, sailing partner, and brother-in-law. Ernie and Maedi met life-long friends Mike and Diane Wallace in High School, remaining involved in their and their children’s lives and supporting daughter Nicole Kramer through Ernie’s death. Ernie and Maedi moved in together in 1976 and had their daughter Nicole in 1981. They lived in Gardena and San Pedro where they raised their daughter. They lived in San Pedro for 37 years among a community of supportive neighbors, particularly Oliver Clark. Ernie and Maedi surprised everyone by marrying in 2010. 

Ernie was predeceased by his father, Ernst A. Gasteiger. Ernie is survived by his spouse, Margareta Becker, their daughter, Nicole Kramer, her husband, Dewight Kramer, Ernie’s mother, Klara Gasteiger, his Aunt Christina Oberhollenzer and her husband Walter and their children Birgit Oberhollenzer and Claudia Schwaiger and her husband Hubert and children Laura and Moritz, his sister, Katharina Todd and her daughter, Elizabeth Wright and her husband, John Wright, sister-in-law Virgilia Becker, and brother-in-law Hannes Becker and his wife Geraldine Becker, and their children and grandchildren; Kris Becker and spouse Emily and children Tabitha and Isaac, Sonja Koppenhaver, and child Kiree Koppenhaver, and Erik Becker.

Final arrangements are being handled by The Neptune Society of San Pedro. A Celebration of Life will be planned, but the date has not yet been determined. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Ernie Gasteiger Memorial Scholarship for Fine Arts at El Camino College. Donations can be made online at Under Designation please select “Other” and write “Ernie Gasteiger” in the comments box. To donate via check, please remit to El Camino College Foundation and write “Ernie Gasteiger” in the memo line and mail to: ECC Foundation, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, CA 90506.

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