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RIP John "Louie" Ehrensbeck

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  • RIP John "Louie" Ehrensbeck

    John "Louie" Ehrensbeck 1944 - 2021

    OLD FORGE - John Robert "Louie" Ehrensbeck, 76, of Old Forge, entered into eternal rest, peacefully, on July 17, 2021, surrounded by his loved ones.
    He was born in Utica, NY, on September 19, 1944, to parents, Kit and Earl, raised in Old Forge and graduated from Town of Webb School.
    Louie is survived by his beloved children: Kelli (Shane) Parmelee, Katie Ehrensbeck, Kristin (Nick) Armendola, Kayla (Ryan Chauncey) Ehrensbeck and Kerrin Ehrensbeck. He also leaves his adored grandchildren: Henry Parmelee, Thailer and Reagan Ehrensbeck and Kit and Cooper Armendola; a special friend, Linda Compo; as well as many nieces and nephews and extended community of people who considered Lou family.

    He was predeceased by his parents; siblings, Jim and Joan; and many close friends.

    Louie was a talented athlete who went on to compete on the baseball field, ski hill and Nordic course. He was a member of both the US Alpine and US Nordic Ski Teams in the 1960's and competed in the 1968 Olympics on both the Men's Nordic and Biathlon Teams.

    He was able to return to his Olympic stomping grounds in Grenoble, France, with his daughter, Kerrin, in 2019. Their three week tour of Europe brought him great joy and memories that he loved to share.

    Louie settled in Old Forge, raising his five daughters and operating successful ski shop and ski tuning businesses, where he was happy to share his expertise, knowledge and words of wisdom. He was especially connected to local youth, spending many years coaching high school soccer and golf, as well as cheering on his hometown Eskimos from the bleachers, ski hill or sidelines, every chance he got.

    Lou was a fixture around Old Forge; from his dedicated work at Thendara Golf Course and McCauley Mountain, to his wave and smile from his convertible, to sharing special time with his grandchildren. He always made time to stop and say hello, ask after people, share a chuckle, talk about how he hit 'em that day, or relive the best play of the soccer game. He taught countless local kids not only the sports of skiing, soccer and golf, but about sportsmanship, fair play and the value of hard work and teamwork.

    He wore a lot of hats and cultivated many relationships, but his proudest achievement was his family. Local legend, Olympian, entrepreneur, mentor, coach and friend; his favorite titles were "Dad", "Poppy" and "Pop Pop." Louie will be remembered for his love of family and friends, his gentle manner, hard work and his devotion to his community.

    In the seasons to come, when the sun twinkles on the morning dew on the greens in Thendara, when the first snowflakes of the season fly at McCauley Mountain and when the scoreboard lights up on North Street, he will be there still, in spirit, cheering on his hometown team.

    The family would like to express their gratitude to St. Elizabeth Hospital ICU, Old Forge Ambulance, Thendara Golf Course, the first responders and medical staff.

    Relatives and friends are invited to call on Friday, from 4:00-7:00 p.m., at Dimbleby Funeral Homes, 128 Fern Ave., Old Forge. Funeral services will be on Saturday, 10:00 a.m., at St. Bartholomew's Church, 103 Crosby Blvd., Old Forge, where his Funeral Mass will be celebrated. Interment will be private, at the convenience of the family.

    Those desiring, please consider memorial donations to Polar Bear Ski Club or Kids Golf Camp at Thendara.

    Memorial tributes and messages of sympathy may be left at
    He made the U.S. Alpine team, or downhill skiing, in 1961 before joining the Nordic team two years later. At age 19, Ehrensbeck arrived at the Olympic Training Center in Anchorage, Alaska.

    Years of exhausting hard work earned him the trip to Grenoble, France to compete in Nordic ski and the biathlon (skiing and air rifle) at the Olympic winter games in 1968. An achievement so few have ever reached. “He was extremely humble," said Kristin. "When we were little we didn’t realize the awesomeness of being in the Olympics.”

    Louie’s Olympic journey would meet heartbreak when he arrived in France. Leading up to the Nordic ski event, Ehrensbeck came down with an illness and was too sick to race. Missing a chance to earn gold for his country.