James Michael Ernest

October 5, 1950 ~ May 13, 2022 (age 71)



October 5, 1950 - May 13, 2022

JAMES "MICHAEL" ERNEST of Norcross, Georgia, peacefully passed away on May 13, 2022.

Michael is survived by his wife, Linda Moody Ernest, brother, Darrell Lee Ernest, brothers- and sisters-in-law, cousins, and nephews.

He is predeceased by his father and mother, Joseph Lacy Ernest and Bessie Elizabeth Rasberry Ernest, brother, Joseph Gregory Ernest, and sister-in-law, Janice Ernest.

Michael was born in Rutherford, Tennessee, on October 5, 1950, graduated from High School in1968, then earned a B.A. in Business and Finance from Memphis State University.

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1969 at the age of 18 and served in both Vietnam and Turkey, then received an honorable discharge as a Sergeant in January 1973.

After his military service he began his career in banking and worked for First Tennessee Bank, United American Bank and First National Bank of Sikeston, Missouri.  Later he owned Stone Mountain Mortgage Company and a magazine franchise, "Mature Living Choices of Tennessee."  His last position was working as an underwriter for 8 years with the U S. Department of Housing & Urban Development before retiring in 2017.

Michael had a love for music, which included singing and dancing.  He sang with "Danny Shirley & Confederate Railroad" at Miss Kitty's in the 1980s, did numerous solos in church and was a regular karaoke singer at the American Legion Post 160.  He and his wife, Linda, also won numerous country western dance competitions.

He loved fishing, RVing, and cruising and after retiring was able to do quite a bit.

Michael "Tonto" joined Chapter 9 of the SCRC (Southern Cruisers Riding Club) in 1999.  Later he founded Stone Mountain Chapter 221 and was 1st officer for many years until being asked to be one of the original Regional Officers of the club.  Michael was also one of the original "Brothers of the Tree" and was loved and admired by many.

In Lieu of flowers please make contributions in honor of James Michael Ernest to St. Judes Children's Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, Tn 38105 or at

A celebration of Michael's life will be held Saturday August 27, 2022 from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm  at the American Legion Post # 160 160 Legion Drive Smyrna, GA 30080 (770) -436-2501 and 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm for Food, Fellowship and Stories  Please wear blue jeans and your favorite BLACK t-shirt in honor of Mike !

Arrangements by Byrd and Flanigan Crematory & Funeral Service, Lawrenceville. 770-962-2200,

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Michael Ernest, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for James

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Byrd & Flanigan Crematory and Funeral Service

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A Celebration of Life Service
August 27, 2022

3:00 PM
American Legion Post # 160
160 Legion Drive
Smyrna, GA 30080

Reception following the service

American Legion Post # 160
160 Legion Drive
Smyrna, GA 30080

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