By George Mauzy
Like many nontraditional students, Ernest Allberry returned to school to fulfill a dream.
Unfortunately, his aspirations of becoming a high school math teacher ended when Allberry, 50, a senior majoring in integrated math in Ohio University's College of Education, died June 28 after a brief illness.
"Ernie was a friendly guy who was interesting and fun to talk to," said Floyd Doney, the college's student services coordinator. "He came back to school so that he could become a high school math teacher, which is an ambitious goal that takes a lot of gumption for a non-traditional student. He will be missed."
Allberry also made a positive impression on Professor Emerita of Teacher Education Joan Safran.
"I am shocked and saddened by Ernie's death because he was a committed and optimistic man. This is quite a loss," Safran said. "He was very full of life, enthusiasm and interest and had a genuine desire to learn.
"He walked an interesting line, quite aware that he was nontraditional, but finding ways to fit right in with the typical students," she added.
Allberry had worked since January 2007 at Shively Dining Hall, where his strong work ethic left a favorable impression on many of his coworkers. In less than two years on the job, the Logan, Ohio, resident had become one of the hall's most valuable employees.
"Ernie was a tremendous gentleman with a great work ethic who worked as many hours as he could," said Jim Yute, general manager at Shively Dining Hall. "He used to train our new student employees, and the student managers loved him because they knew he would make sure the work in his area was done. I was planning to hire him as a student manager next year."
Allberry was a former member of the Logan Kiwanis Club. He is survived by two sisters, one nephew, and several aunts and uncles.