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Visitation

Saint John's Lutheran Church
Tuesday August 19th, 2014
5:00pm - 8:00pm

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Service Information

Saint John's Lutheran Church
Wednesday August 20th, 2014
11:00am

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James Leon Ensley

Mr. James Leon Ensley, 81 of Mt. Pleasant, entered into his eternal home on Monday, August 18, 2014 at the Tucker Hospice House. Memorial service will be 11:00am, Wednesday, at St. John's Lutheran Church, officiated by Rev. Dr. Mark Ericson. The Ensley family will receive friends from 5-8pm Tuesday evening at St. John's Lutheran Church. Leon was born August 21, 1932 in Gaston County, son of the late Lewis Ensley and Ruth Kee Ensley. He received a BS Degree at Pfeiffer College, and later received two masters degrees, from NCA&T and Appalachian State University. Leon played baseball and basketball in High School and was drafted to play baseball as a pitcher following high school. His sports career interrupted when he was drafted by the Army. Following his return he played AAA baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals, ending his baseball career in Omaha, NE. He began his teaching career in 1959 with the Cabarrus County Schools, teaching at Hartsell School and Mt. Pleasant High School. During his tenure he served as football, basketball, baseball coach for middle and high school. After retirement, returned back to the classroom to teach Drivers Education. He enjoyed fishing at his home at Holden Beach and playing golf, and always had a good joke and story to tell. His favorite pastime was being with his family and especially children and his grandchildren. He was a active member of St. John's Lutheran Church where he taught Sunday School for many years and served on church council. He was preceded in death by a son James Barry Ensley also brothers Harold Ensley, Floyd Ensley and sister, Theresa Holder. He is survived by his wife of 57 years Ann Hopkins Ensley, daughter, Beth Downs and husband Mike, grandchildren, Erin Yow (Daniel), Grayson Downs fiancée Jessica Dinkins , Ethan Ensley, and Marie Ensley fiancée Seth Burris, great grandchildren, Talyn Phillips, Braylyn Phillips, Jaxon Yow, sister, Frances Carter of Spartanburg, SC and many nieces and nephews. The family would like to extend a special thanks to all the staff members of Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County during Leon's declining health. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to St. John's Lutheran Church, 100 St. John's Church Rd., Concord, NC 28025, Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, 5003 Hospice Lane, Kannapolis, NC 28083 or the Mt. Pleasant High School Boosters Club, PO Box 925., Mt. Pleasant, NC 28124

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Guestbook

So sorry to hear of Mr. Ensley's passing. He was one of the best teachers I ever had, although I don't know if I actually remember any subject matter he ever taught me! It was his caring, supportive nature that I remember. His kind words helped me through a difficult time in my high school career. I know he was sorry that his baseball career was cut short, but baseball's loss was the gain of many Cabarrus County teenagers. If they handed out a Cy Young award for Teacher, Mentor, All-Around Great Guy, Mr. Ensley would have won. What a life lived, and a legacy left behind!

Susie Ritchie Johnson Aug 21 2014 12:00 AM

To Ann and Family my thoughts and prayers are with you. My fondest memories of middle school were when Leon, Larry Riggs and of course Mr. Rimer came to Hartsell . They brought so much life into our school and everyone loved Mr. Ensley. When I graduated from high school Leon had moved to Mt. Pleasant High School but he and Ann came to my graduation. I was thrilled and felt so happy that my favorite teacher had taken the time to attend this very important occasion for me. He would tease me unmercifully about my school crushes. He was a wonderful man and loved Ann and the children so much. He will be missed by all. Thanks for the memories Leon. You will never be forgotten.

Sharon Raymer Eury Aug 21 2014 12:00 AM

Ethan, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You will have such a void in your life now with Mr. Ensley gone. He made life so much more interesting and fun. I will never forget his big loving smile he always had on his face. He was such a great mentor to my graduation class. I know that this is a tough time for you and your family but look to God for the answers and for the peace he can give you.

Kimberly Miles Aug 20 2014 12:00 AM

Mr. Ensley left a lasting impression on my life that 49 years later, I still think of his kindness and support with grateful appreciation. Their are few teachers that I have come in contact with that I will remember, he was one of the greats. condolences to his family.

Nancy Aug 19 2014 12:00 AM

Mr. Ensley was a great man. He was my drivers ed teacher and it was never a dull moment with him around. My prayers go out to his family. He will be greatly missed by so many.

Lisa Wilburn Shaver Aug 19 2014 12:00 AM

Even though I moved on I still consider myself part of this family. I loved Leon so dearly. He was a wonderful father-in-law and loved me as his own. He was the best grandfather (pa) to my children and great g-children a person could ever had asked for. Him and Ann spent countless summers at the beach with all the grand kids. They're are so many memories we all have to hang on to. He was loved by so many and will never be forgotten. Now he's in his heavenly home and will be celebrating his birthday on Thursday with his parents, brothers, sister, many friends and his son James. I love and miss you all and can't wait to see you all again!! I will be praying for Ann, my children and the entire Ensley family. Love you all!!! Donna Rinehardt

Donna Rinehardt Aug 19 2014 12:00 AM

I had never realized during my younger years what an impact my Uncle Leon had on his community until I stated looking for real estate around the Charlotte area in 2004. I was contacted by a realtor in Mt Pleasant that asked if i would travel up from Florida to look at the Mt Pleasant area. While we were driving around and checking out the Oldenburg sub-division, the realtor asked if I had any family in the area. I told him about my Uncle Leon and the next thing I knew, I was sitting at his dinner table meeting his entire family. They shared stories with me about how Leon had either taught many of them to drive or had shaped them into adults under his gentle but firm hand coaching various sports teams. I will always remember receiving the "Rock Star" treatment from my trip to Mt. Pleasant. Every time I ever saw my Uncle Leon, he always had a joke and a smile for you. I learned very quickly that I had better have a joke of my own to share with him. You never knew when he would just call out of the blue just to tell you the latest joke he had heard from someone else. I will always remember the sparkle he had in his eyes when he would talk about his family or his students. He had such a large capacity for love and was truly beloved by all who ever met him. Our world just got a little colder and a little darker without him in it today. May God's love surround you and your family in your eternal rest.

Rusty Carter Aug 18 2014 12:00 AM