Ernest D. Carrington was just a child when he became fascinated by the Masonic rituals.

His father, Arnolff Carrington, was a 33rd degree Mason and his son was so intrigued by the ceremonies that, at the age of 5 or 6, he memorized the ritual that his father recited at meetings.

Ernest Carrington, a 30-year employee of the city Department of Streets, where he was a longtime supervisor, a man who liked to keep friends and family happy and laughing, died May 25. He was 69 and lived in West Philadelphia.

And, yes, he became a Mason.

He was born in Philadelphia to Arnolff and Mary Carrington and attended public schools. He married Geraldine Groce in 1960.

Ernest was the kind of man who always had a good word to say about everyone. He was the hit of family gatherings with his wit and infectious laugh.

He liked to dance and enjoyed a good game of pinochle. He was also a dedicated sports fan, who rooted for the Eagles and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Besides his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Marion Pray, Kelley Carrington and Keva Carrington; a son, Ernest Jr.; four brothers, Robert, Victor, Wilbur and Arnold; a sister, Josephine; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by two sons, Terrance and Tyrell, and a sister, Joan.

Services: 11 a.m. today at Pinn Memorial Baptist Church, 54th Street and Wynnefield Avenue. Burial will be in Eden Cemetery, Collingdale. *