Feb 24 2015
February 21, 2015
Nelson Ernest, 91, of Stroudsburg, died Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, after a short stay in hospice care. Born Jan. 10, 1924, in Spruce Hill, Juniata County, he was the second son of the late Melvin J. Ernest and Maude (Kurtz) Ernest. Nelson was the loving husband of Martha (Scanlon) Ernest.
Nelson was born on the family farm and attended a one room schoolhouse, then Port Royal High School. He served with the Merchant Marines during World War II in the South Pacific. After the war, he graduated from both Maryville College, Tennessee, and the University of Michigan, earning a master’s degree in music education.
He became the head of the music department for the North Plainfield, N.J., public school system where he taught instrumental music and led the marching band for 42 years. In addition, Nelson enjoyed playing French horn with the Westfield, N.J., community band; East Stroudsburg University Orchestra; and the Stroudsburg Centennial Band.
He was a member of the United Presbyterian Church of Plainfield, N.J, where he was a church elder and sang in the choir. In addition Nelson arranged music and played French horn in a church quartet. Recently, he attended the Stroudsburg Methodist Church.
Upon retirement, Nelson became a docent at Carnegie Hall in New York. He and Martha traveled extensively both in the United States and abroad, and spent summers at their cottage in Pocono Pines that he built with his son. His true joy in life was spending time with his family.
In addition to his wife, Martha, Nelson is survived by his daughter, Miriam Bandfield of Marion, Iowa; daughter Cynthia Ernest of Pawtucket, R.I,; and his son, Timothy Ernest of Stroudsburg; daughter-in-law Wendy Ernest and son-in-law Peter Bandfield; his grandchildren: Laura, Jesse and Anna Bandfied; Jessica Matthews; and Jennifer Wenner and husband Jason; and great-granddaughter Macey Wenner.