The Rev. Dr. Ernest Leroy Price, 77, died Jan. 18, 2010.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 29, at 6 p.m. at Little River Baptist Church, Route 1, Belfast.

Ernie was of French-Canadian ancestry, born in Anson July 4, 1932, a son of Henry C. Price and Alma C. Spencer. He was the last survivor of eight children.

Ernie joined the Air Force in 1950, where he met his wife, Marion (Smith) of Mt. Holly, N.J., who died in August 1990. His military travels took him to Alaska, New Jersey, Germany and Florida before he retired  to Maine in 1970 with his wife and three children. He was chauffeur to many generals, diplomats and dignitaries, including Elvis Presley, dispatcher/inspector of the motor pool, spending his last year in the service at Kennedy Space Center in Cocoa Beach, Fla. During the last 10 years, Ernie began preaching and teaching in the Baptist churches for the military and their families.

After retiring to Maine in 1970, Ernie attended Glen Cove Bible College, where he received his pastoral degree. He interned at many churches throughout the state pastoring Greely Corner in Palermo from 1970 to 1974, and Emmanuel Baptist Church on Court and Spring streets in Belfast from 1974 to 1980. Ernie went on to earn his master’s and doctor’s degrees in Bible, English and history.

Ernie became involved with several Christian schools as principal/teacher, including South Hope Christian School, Belfast Christian Academy, Emmanuel Christian Academy in Belfast, and Calvary Christian in Patten.

From 1993 to 1999, Ernie worked as the “best sandwich-maker” at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. As a cook, he had the privilege of sailing with many of the students to places such as England, Ireland, France and the Caribbean.

During the last 10 years, Ernie continued Bible studies in the local nursing homes, and participated in the Meals-on-Wheels and Waldo County Public Transportation programs. He attended Little River Baptist Church, where he taught children’s and adult Sunday School and Bible study classes. Going on several mission trips was always a treat for him, because he relished any opportunity to travel.

Ernie admired studying the word of God, his children and grandchildren, and everyone else. He delighted in writing children’s stories, traveling, learning French and German, stamps, supporting church missions, and sending all the children, past and present, birthday cards.

On the entertainment side of Ernie, a bit of theater, church functions, classical movies, old-time TV shows and a big bowl of ice cream with nuts were among his favorite treats, along with a Big Mac every other Sunday.

In late summer 2008, Ernie moved to Idaho, where he continued to be the father and grandfather he had always been. There, he said, that the winters were much shorter and he had a beautiful, breathtaking view of the western red mountains against the warm blue sky surrounding his home in the little town of Emmett. He always said that he was doing “just fine,” yet missed the people and his friends here in Maine.

Ernie is survived by a daughter, Susan (Price-Harvey) and her husband, Martin Young, of Swanville; grandchildren, Danielle (Harvey) and her husband, Jason, of Ellsworth, and their children, Tyler, Aliah and Neena; Steve Harvey Jr.; Ben and Natalie Harvey and their children, Marcus, Trevis, Amber and Nathan, all of Ormond Beach, Fla. Ernie is also survived by a son, Donald Price, of Chino Hills, Calif., and his children, Brandon and Alexis, of Ariz.; a daughter, Jane (Price) Branch, and her children, Lance and Kyra of Brooks; and a lifelong friend, Neal Tranten, of Kingfield.