John Max Ehrbar of Ithaca passed away on Wednesday, September 27, 2011 at Cayuga Medical Center at the age of 91.


  John was born on March 10, 1920, the son of Nicholas and Anna Ehrbar in Cologne, Germany.  He emigrated with his parents and sister, Margaret, arriving on December 26, 1923 at Ellis Island.  John lived his early years in Brooklyn and Queens, New York


After completing his junior year at Cooper Union (NYC) where he was pursuing a Mechanical Engineering Degree, John enlisted in the Army with our country's entrance into World War II.  He was a Tech Sgt in the 473rd Combat Engineering Co. serving in the North African campaign and the Italian Campaigns in the Naples - Foggia, North Apenines, and Rome-Arno. 


After the war, John moved to Enfield Falls where he built a home for his parents and formed a partnership to found the Finger Lakes Tool & Die Co.   He subsequently sold his interest to Lansing Instrument Company from which he retired as Manager.  Ever the engineer, he had the unique gift of not only conceiving a device but also contributing to the hands-on design, development, and production process to successfully bring the device to fruition. During his years in Ithaca, John was an active member of the American Legion Post 221. 


Mr. Ehrbar leaves his nephew, John (Jane) Malmfelt of Greensboro, NC; niece Kathy (Chad) Shields of Charlotte, NC; nephew Christopher (Melissa) Malmfelt of Holly Springs, NC; nephew Kevin (Jennifer) Malmfelt of Greensboro, NC; 7 great nieces and 1  great nephew.  Special thanks to Martha and Tom Bell of Ithaca and to the Beechtree Care Center staff for the kindness and loving care given to Mr. Ehrbar, especially during his last years. 


In German, "ehrbar"means honor, to be "ehrbarlich" is to be honorable.  "Uncle John" conducted his life in full accord with his family name. 


A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30am on Friday, September 30, 2011 at Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South Street, Trumansburg with Father Leo Reinhardt officiating. Prayers of Committal and full military honors will immediately follow at Calvary Cemetery in Ithaca. In lieu of flowers, the family asks those who wish to make a contribution in Johnís name to kindly consider Immaculate Conception, 113 N. Geneva Street, Ithaca, NY 14850, where Mr. Ehrbar worshipped for over 60 years.