David Christopher Ernsberger

May 27, 1971December 25, 2018
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David Christopher Ernsberger, age 47, of Denver, NC died December 25, 2018. He was born on May 27, 1971 in South Salem, NY to the late Earl R Ernsberger III and his surviving mother, Sara Jenkins Ernsberger of Denver, NC.

To his friends, David was known as one who warmed their hearts. A person who had a beautiful soul. A man that was sensitive, spiritually driven and unconditional in his love for others. Some say he was the glue that brought and kept people together. He was a Phish Phanatic and was always a welcomed sight to his Phish Phamily at concerts throughout the country. He loved to dance and smile, and if you didn’t dance with him, he would keep on dancing until you had no choice but to dance! His two favorite Phish songs were “Light” and “Joy”. He was a great conversationalist and a great listener. He was a giver and generosity was the perfect complement to his character. He freely shared his faith and was a true spiritual being. David had a heart that both allowed and invited you to become his friend. And once a friend, there wasn’t much that you could do to escape that friendship. Since my brother’s passing, I have been inundated with texts, phone calls and emails from friends across the country pouring out their love, expressions of gratitude for their friendship with him, and as well, the heartache they feel regarding the loss of their friend. As his brother, I am amazed and so blessed to hear that there was a David that I didn’t know, yet am now coming to know, through the sentiments and expressions of love that have been pouring in from his friends everywhere. After reading all of the responses I have received, I truly believe that if I had the chance to know him as a friend, he would have poured out the same love to me as he would to all of his friends. I too, would have been blessed to call him my friend.

To his family, David was all of the above and then more. He was one to bond a relationship and not tear it down. He sacrificed his time and his love. He would do anything for us. He was a healer. He had a deep respect and love for his family and nothing would prevent him from serving his family. Sacrifice is an understatement to his character as I reflect on his life and his love for his family. David simply did what was necessary to incubate love and was a rebel to anything that would compromise that love.

We will miss David, as will all those who have known him. He was truly a treasure. As both a friend and a brother, his life and those things that made him unique, will always remain constant in my heart as well as in the hearts of his family and friends. He certainly battled, on a personal level, with the things in this life, however, he is now in the presence and splendor of His Savior.

We can rest assured that his journey made ours better. His life touched many people and will continue to do so. Every man has a legacy, and my brothers was drafted from his own life. Although imperfect, as we all are, I believe David lived his life well. David lived in the “now” as his friends said. That “now”, helped him to translate, without the presence of past and or future components, the love that each of us has been most fortunate to have embraced. Love breaks down every wall. Love makes the imperfect perfect. Love is unconditional. That was my brother. A brother that loved deeply, was deeply loved, and will be missed by all. We love you David.

Survivors include his mother Sara Louise Ernsberger; brother, Robert of Denver, NC and Sister Robin Lewis of Quakertown, PA.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, December 29th at 12:00 PM in the chapel of Forest Lawn Funeral Home West, 4601 Freedom Drive, Charlotte, NC 28078 with Rev. Harrison Spitler officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn Cemetery West.


  • Visitation Saturday, December 29, 2018
  • Visitation Saturday, December 29, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 29, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 29, 2018

David Christopher Ernsberger

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Kathy DeMola (Imhof)

December 29, 2018

I was deeply saddened to hear of David's passing, and wished I could be there to extend my condolences to Sara, Robert and Robin. David was a wonderful childhood friend and we had many wonderful memories together at OBBC and Calvary. Our families were close, and this news is especially heart wrenching after hearing of Bob's passing earlier this month.

We are comforted to know that David is in a better place, but he will be missed by many. He loved deeply, was intentional, and left behind many who will keep his spirit alive. I love to hear the many stories shared of his selflessness, and his deep love for family and friends. I've witnessed his positive nature and kindness, always passionate about his views, but not instigating conflict. Respectful of all views. If only we had more of him in this world.

David, I will miss you! Although we have only kept touch recently over FB, I'm thankful for your friendship, and how your life touched so many. Look forward to seeing you again someday in the presence of our Savior.

Sending much love and hugs to the Ernsberger family.
Love, Kathy & family

Craig Rost

December 29, 2018

I am sorry for losing you, but knowing that we will meet again. Thank you for the friendship and the wonderful memories. I will miss you.

“What a long strange trip it has been,”

Love you brother!

Billy Sirianni

December 29, 2018

I can't even think how to begin. I met my brother David through mutual friends, Ryan Jensen, Dave Davis and Craig rost in highschool in 90. We lived together, learned together partied together and hurt together. We all chose our own paths and and went our own ways, but Dave and I continued the journey living in the jersey shore together, learning to play guitar at his sister Robin's home (I'm sure much to her chagrin) we had adventures seeing the grateful dead (yes with Jerry) and I've seen approximately 150 Phish shows, at least 120 dancing next to that man. My wife and I live in Tahoe and work at a resort and just aren't able to be there tomorrow. I hurts me deeply that we can't and even more that I didn't get up to give him a hug as he left our hotel room Halloween weekend in Vegas. I miss my friend deeply and send my deepest and most sincere condolences to Dave's family and all of our friends who are horribly saddened by this event. The last Dead song Dave and I saw together was black muddy river. It's a beautiful farewell. I love you my friend.

Melissa Gould

December 28, 2018

My husband and I first met Dave during the Phish run in Telluride, August of 2010. A group of us rented a house together. To this day, I know the main reason I was so instantly drawn into understanding exactly what Phish and Phamily was all about is because of the folks surrounding me at the time. Dave was a huge part of that for the last 8 years. He instantly felt like family, not just phamily, and that feeling has only strengthened through our time together. Almost all of my memories with Dave involve laughing and smiling, dancing and hugging, with some occasional shared tears thrown in. He loved so much in this world so freely and easily. He has always been able to make my heart smile. He will be greatly missed by so many of us. But his love, his light, his joy, shines on in the lives of all the beautiful people he has brought together. We will continue to live in the moment, dance with soul-freeing fervor, and love endlessly and completely. Thank you for a few lifetimes worth of memorable moments. I shall miss you, Dave. Loving you always.
(The photo is from our Phish trip to Bethel Woods for Dave's 40th! )

Linda Sumrall

December 27, 2018

The Ernsberger family was one of my new church family as we became part of obbc back in 1980. Mr E had such a radio voice and always seemed to smile. David and I spent hours on the school bus laughing with Chrissy Suzie Gordon David d Craig Heather Wayne and others. This same group skied together and did summer camp as well as vbs. Such fond memeories of one of my little brothers, and your family-many years ago. Much comfort to you all at this difficult time.