Ernest “Ernie” Lush, 93, of Kennebunkport, passed peacefully at his winter home in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Nov. 19, 2022. Born on May 8, 1929, he lived in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, until 1946 when he moved to Kennebunkport, with his Uncle Jim and Aunt Flo Johnson.

Ernie worked at Uncle Jim’s garage, the Texaco station, which was a landmark in Cape Porpoise for many years. Ernie was proud to have been the final student to be handed a diploma as a member of the last graduating class of Kennebunkport High School in 1947.

He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War and had the distinction of being a crew chief on the historic F-84 fighter bomber. As one of the USAF’s first jet fighters, the F-84 was a very complex aircraft and keeping it flying was no easy task. But for a man like Ernie, who had a natural curiosity for all things mechanical, it was a challenge that he took on with great enthusiasm. And naturally, he excelled at it.

After his service, Ernie returned to Kennebunkport and married the love of his life, Van Ness Bunty Maling on Nov. 27, 1954. Ernie and Bunty were together for 47 loving years.

He worked at the Chrysler dealership in Biddeford for a time before taking on a job at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Once again, he applied his mechanical skills to complex, advanced military machinery and this time it was nuclear submarines. He was also a longtime member of the Masonic Lodge in Kennebunkport.

Even in retirement, Ernie was always busy. He was known by friends and family as the “man who could fix anything.” Frequently, people would stop by and seek his advice on mechanical problems they couldn’t solve and was always happy to help. He took great pride in salvaging and repairing bicycles through his “Nice Bikes” hobby. Making money wasn’t his goal, seeing the smiles on the generations of children’s faces was his real motivation.

For relaxation, he enjoyed painting lighthouses and built model ships while enjoying winters in Port St. Lucie. Ernie is survived by his daughter, Vicki Lush, his son, John Lush, daughter-in-law Faith Lush, grandchildren Cameron and Dillon Lush, brother and sister-in-law Laurin and Linda Maling, nieces Debbie Cole, Lorri Maling, Deanna Thompson, nephew Jeffrey Maling, as well as several great-nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Ernie’s life will be held in Kennebunkport on Saturday, June 17, 2023. Details to follow.

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