James Berry Ernst, 76, of Fredericksburg died Saturday, May 12, 2012 at VCU Medical Center.
Jim was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on October 14, 1935 to the former John O. and Dorothy Reese Ernst. The family moved to Lockport, Illinois in his youth.
He knew the Navy was his future. He joined shortly after high school and later served in the Special Forces and then became a master deep sea diver. He was one of only 39 navy master divers at the time. He served his country for over 21 years, including a duty in Vietnam.
Jim moved his family to Doylestown, Pennsylvania in beautiful Bucks County. He went to work for East Falls Chemical Company in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania selling chemicals and oils for 23 years.
After retiring in Fredericksburg in 1996, his big dream came true. He lived up the hill from his beloved Lee's Hill golf course. Playing golf and the camaraderie of his buddies made his last 16 years a joy. He loved every minute of it.
Jim was a member of Fredericksburg United Methodist Church and being in his pew every Sunday morning was important.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth; his daughter, Susan Moore; the pride of his life his grandson, Reese; his brother, Joseph and his wife, Susan, of Tuckerton, New Jersey; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his twin brother just over a year ago, John B. Ernst.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2012 at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church. Inurnment will follow in the church columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fredericksburg UMC, 308 Hanover Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401.
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