1915 Ernest 2020

Ernest O. Connatser

October 29, 1915 — June 12, 2020

Ernest Orie Connatser passed away at home at the age of 104 on Friday, June 12, 2020. Preceded in death by his wife of 69 years Reona Russell Connatser and son Russell Ernest. He is survived by daughters, Rhonda (Don) Sims, Knoxville, and Janice (Kyle) Bible, Walland, daughter in law, Jane Large Connatser,Maryville, half-brother, Owen (Elsa), half-sisters Laura and Rubye, six grandchildren, Lorin Sims, Dr. David Sims, Jared Bible, Kyla Ledford, Tyler Connatser, Spencer Connatser, and eight great-grandchildren. The family wishes to express gratitude to granddaughter, Lorin Sims, his faithful caregiver. Ernest graduated from Lanier High School in 1938. He completed courses in radio construction, electrical engineering, communication powerhouse operations and received a certificate from the International Correspondence School in Pennsylvania. He began his career with the Aluminum Company of America at Calderwood in 1938 as powerhouse operator trainee. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944, receiving his basic training in field artillery at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. He was selected for specialized training in communications and meteorology, remaining stateside during hostilities. He shipped out to Europe May 20, 1945, a few days after the end of World War II. He attained the rank of technical sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1946. He then returned to work at Calderwood, transferring to Alcoa’s south plant in 1953, where he was power systems dispatcher, retiring after forty-two years. Ernest was born in Sevier County, Tennessee October 29, 1915. He began serving his Lord at age 16, as Sunday School superintendent at Calderwood Baptist Church. He was a member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Maryville for 30 years where he was a deacon and Sunday School teacher. Ernest had a wonderful sense of humor, enjoyed gardening, yard work, home projects, and most of all, his family. A man of integrity, respected by all who knew him, he was unwavering in his strength, character, leadership, and Christian example. The family will have a service at the Smith Trinity Chapel, Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 6 PM. The family and friends may gather for a graveside service with interment at Sherwood Chapel and Memorial Gardens, Alcoa TN, on Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Maryville. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.SmithFuneralandCremation.com. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Ernest O. Connatser please visit our Sympathy Store.
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