DENVER, N.C. - Earl Robert “Bob” Ernsberger III, age 81, of Denver died December 3, 2018.
He was born on September 18, 1937 in Oklahoma City, Okla. to the late Earl and Virginia Cate Ernsberger. He served in the US Air Force and had a long career in the pharmaceutical sales industry, retiring in 1992 from Whitehall Labs.
To those who knew him from work, Bob was “The Man”. Incredibly driven, loved his worked, life of the party, always engaging with you and simply made you smile. He was relentless! His famous “Bubba” joke was always anticipated at conventions and meetings. As well, who can forget the “Advil Werewolf” video he made in the studios of NY. Finally, one of his favorite sayings… and there were many, was, “If you’re not the lead dog, the scenery never changes”!
On behalf of his family, my father was simply an incredible man with a very kind and generous heart. He loved my mom and as the years progressed, loved her even more. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past June 13th at the nursing home he was recovering at. Every evening, they shared their precious goodnight words that went like this. Whoever started first, said, “I Love you”… then, either my dad or mom said, “Love you more”… then, the last one responding would say, “Love you most”. Since my dad was so competitive, I think he always liked to start their evening ceremony first as he would then have the last word.
My father’s passion for his children was nothing less than wanting the very best for each of us. He did his best and even more importantly, each of us knew that. We each hold fond memories of our father that are precious. Memories that have in fact, shaped each one of us and will continue to shape us as we grow older and wiser in this life. As I think of the word legacy, I think of the qualities that call attention to that very word. Legacy beckons love. It advocates a passion for excellence. It champions grace and is also called to discipline. Legacy is not afraid of failure and in fact, embraces it. Legacy gives way to forgiveness and is careful to carry the offended to a higher place. Legacy is not perfection. Legacy belongs to those who live life and live it well… for others. I believe my father left myself, my brother and my sister a legacy to embrace and to follow. We are so very proud to be called his children and look to carry his legacy with us and to others the rest of our lives.
To his friends, he was many things. He was a confidant, a care-giver, a friend, a liaison, a joker and a joke-teller. He liked to have fun and enjoyed his times playing bridge with his buddies and as well, enjoyed his weekly men’s prayer breakfast. To some, he was an inspiration, a man that visited the sick and truly had compassion on others less fortunate. And as well, to others, I am most definitely sure that he could be a real pain in the backside! I believe that he stood for truth and I find an overwhelming sense of his legacy seen through those who returned the care for him and encouraged him through his time of suffering. We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to those who reached out both through prayer and those that visited and brought meals during the past year. You have blessed both my father and our family, and we are forever thankful for your kindness and compassion.
To His Lord and Savior, my dad was faithful. An imperfect man being made perfect through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. A man that wasn’t afraid to speak and boast about his Savior. Handing out tracts for years to those on planes, trains and even the taxi cab drivers and always keeping his bible in his briefcase. He even wrote and printed his own tract called “Dear Fellow Traveler… Is there enough time?”. For now, my dad’s time has ended, however, I am sure that he is embracing many saints that he witnessed to or gave tracts to throughout his life. I can only imagine that his first embrace was with his Savior.
My dad’s favorite verses:
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he cares for them that trust in him.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Bob was a faithful member of SouthLake Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder.
Survivors include his loving wife Sara Louise Ernsberger; sons, Robert of Denver, N.C. and David of York, S.C.; daughter, Robin Lewis of Quakertown, Pa.; siblings, Daniel, George, Mark, Duke and Doug; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held Friday, December 7 at 1 p.m. the chapel of James Funeral Home with Rev. Harrison Spitler and Rev. Adam Mumpower officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn West.
Memorials may be made to the SouthLake Presbyterian Church Mission Fund.
James Funeral Home of Huntersville, N.C. is serving the Ernsberger family.
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