Leslie M. Ernest, 57

AUG. 1, 1954-DEC. 25, 2011

December 27, 2011
  • Leslie M. Ernest
Submitted photo

Leslie Mark Ernest, 57, of Knoxville, died Christmas morning, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011, at his home.

He was the husband of Pastor Andrea Joan (Manspeaker) Ernest, whom he married Aug. 15, 1998.

Mark was a dedicated member of Bethany Lutheran Church, Brunswick, Md.

Born Aug. 1, 1954, he was the son of Max W. and Mary (Bossinger) Ernest of Mifflintown, Pa.

Mark was a 1972 graduate of Juniata High School and a 1975 graduate of Millersville University, both in Pennsylvania. In September 2011, he fulfilled a longtime goal by graduating from Ashford University with his MBA.

Mark was a 34-year employee of IBM, working as an IT consultant and distinguished engineer in the global services division. Following his retirement in September, he was named the first Distinguished Engineer Emeritus in North America.

In addition to his wife and parents, Mark is survived by his son, David E. Lehman of Knoxville; maternal grandmother, Ethel Bossinger of Mifflintown; sister and brother-in-law, Eleanor Ernest and Angie Smith of Owego, N.Y.; nephew, Matthew Ernest of Hilsboro, Ore.; parents-in-law, Richard and Patricia Manspeaker of Hagerstown, Md.; brothers-in-law, Michael Manspeaker of Hagerstown and Richard Manspeaker II (Charity) of Buckhannon, W.Va.; sisters-in-law, Carolyn Shoemaker (Garry) of Pottstown, Pa., and Sharon Pritchett (Mark) of Lakewood, Colo.; sister-in-law, Brenda Manspeaker of Hagerstown; and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his devoted dogs, Sophie and Judah; some dear friends whom he named as part of his family; and countless friends from all over the world.

He was preceded in death by his beloved brother, Max Ernest Jr., in 2007.

Mark donated his body to be used in cancer research, in the hope that one day no one will have to suffer the effects of this illness. Mark’s goal in life was to try to make the world a little bit better place than how he found it, day by day. He had a great gift for friendship, and was blessed to discover and enjoy amazing friends wherever he went. Mark passionately loved nature, woodworking and lending a helping hand to someone else. He was the mentor of many. Mark also believed humor helped every part of life.

A memorial service of worship will be held Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 1 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church, 109 First Ave., Brunswick. Mark’s friend, Pastor Greg Durig, will officiate, and his friend, Alison Shafer, will provide music. In keeping with Mark’s wishes, a celebration of life will be held in his honor at a later date, and it is hoped that many of his friends will gather then to enjoy a party.

In lieu of flowers, Mark would prefer that donations be offered to help others. Donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256; the Brunswick Food Bank, c/o BEACON, 7 S. Maryland Ave., Brunswick, MD 21716; or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.

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