Ernest "Ernie" Mares, age 90, died quietly on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at the Sarah A. Reed Retirement Center.
Ernie always held fast to a strong value set of family, education, work, integrity and patriotism. With gentle good humor, he would share a joke or a humorous observation that always brought some chuckles and good cheer. We celebrate his life and legacy. Ernie was born on May 4, 1923, in Dwight, Nebraska, to the late Fred J. and Agnes Slosar Mares. Nebraska was his childhood home and he grew up on a working farm. In addition to his farm responsibilities and school, he held a variety of part time evening and weekend jobs. He graduated from Seward High School, in 1939, at age 16. After graduation, he was employed by AT&T laying their new cable network in the mid-west.
He joined the Nebraska National Guard in 1939, when he was 15 years old. He later joined the US Navy
as an Air Cadet. A brief illness led to an honorable discharge and he then enlisted in the US Army
Air Corps, and was trained as a navigator. When the war ended, he was a Flight Officer in the Army Air Corps. At the conclusion of WWII, he was honorably discharged. He then attended Purdue University
and graduated in 1949, with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, he worked for IBM in Endicott, New York, and was then employed by the General Electric Company from 1951 until his retirement in 1988. Initially with GE in Schenectady, New York, the family was transferred to Erie in 1952. He was an Application Engineer for Speed Variator Sales and Service in Erie.
Ernie and his wife Amy shared 59 years of marriage. Before her death in 2009, they enjoyed their many longtime friendships and activities, which included bridge and travel groups, and activities with neighbors, friends, and work associates of General Electric Co. Together they enjoyed square dancing and socializing with the Y Squares, Squaws and Paws, and Presque Isle Dancers Clubs. For many years, they enjoyed the Erie Playhouse, the Erie Civic Music Association and other concerts and plays. Travels across the country to visit family and friends were frequent and very meaningful to them both.
He was preceded in death by his adored wife, Amy Brungardt Mares; a beloved son, Brian R. Mares and a much loved older brother, Fred A. Mares.
Survivors include his four loving daughters, their spouses, his four grandchildren and two great-grandsons: Patricia and Kenneth Miller of Ann Arbor, Michigan and their son Kyle Miller and wife Angelina and son Dylan; Nora Blackwell and husband Gary and son Kier of Portland, Oregon; Jeanne and Jack Kleene of Marblehead, Massachusetts; Deborah and Vincent Randisi of Windsor, New York; Laura Mares of Rochester, New York and daughters Anna Mares Chinchilli and Ellen Mares Chinchilli and their father Felix Chinchilli. He is also survived by sisters-in-law Marjorie Guard of Littleton, Colorado, Jane LiermanTomandl of Mobile, Alabama and many nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends. He greatly valued the love and friendship that they all brought to his life.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to the caregivers and staff of both the Regency at South Shore and the Sarah A. Reed Retirement Center. Their kindnesses and excellent care in recent years have been a great comfort.
A gathering to honor and celebrate his life is planned, with the date and time to be announced. Burial will occur at a later date, in the Seward Cemetery, at Seward, Nebraska. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc., 2607 Buffalo Road. Memorial donations may be made to a charitable organization of one's choice. To send condolences, mail will be forwarded from his Regency address (322 Washington Place #220, Erie, PA 16505) or visit www.dusckasfuneralhome.com