1921 ~ 2013|
Ernest Michael Fontana from Salt Lake City passed away on October 18, 2013 surrounded by family.
Ernie was born on May 21, 1921 in Cleveland, Ohio to Amedeo Fontana and Anna Zibrosky. His family later moved to Brooklyn, New York where Ernie was raised and attended school. His goals were to graduate high school, and then attended college to become an electrical engineer, however, due to the war, he chose to serve his country instead and he enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17. He also completed his high school diploma, and received his Electrical Engineering degree while serving.
Ernie spent 20 years in the Navy where he served on 4 different submarines (The Bonita, USS Pomfret, USS Cutlass, and the USS Piper). During his time in the Navy, he met and married the love of his life Helen Elizabeth Douton on August 2, 1946 in New London, Connecticut. Together they had 6 children; Bunny (Mick) Morgan, Ronnie (Ray) Miller, Ernest Jr. "Buzz" (Georgia) Fontana, Andy "Speedy" (Kathie) Fontana, David (Natalie) Fontana, and Nancy (Lee) Hess; 16 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.
Ernie was well traveled and decided to settle his family in Utah. After retirement from the Navy, he started his second career as an electrician for Union Pacific Railroad until he retired in 1989.
Ernie was a true fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers (Brooklyn Bums), and spent a lot of time watching baseball on TV. He spent much of his spare time coaching his three sons who played little league baseball.
His war stories and experiences tell a story from defending our country to helping his neighbors. He made friends wherever he went. He was a well-read man, and loved to talk about UFO's and Amelia Earhart and the Kennedy conspiracy. His true love and passion in life was his family. He was a devout Catholic. He lived strong, he lived to the fullest, and he taught us the art of raising a tight ship. He'll be missed dearly by so many people.
Funeral service will be held Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Utah Veterans Memorial Park Chapel, 17111 S. Camp Williams Rd., Bluffdale , UT, where friends may call form 10-11a.m. at the chapel. Committal: Utah Veterans Memorial Park.
Funeral directors Neil O'Donnell and Sons.
The family would like to express appreciation to Charlene, and the staff at Sunrise Assisted Living in Sandy, also a special thank you to Saint Vincent De Paul and Blessed Sacrament for the visits to care for him. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please donate to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), 3040 S. 5000 W. WVC, UT 84120
To Ernie, it was never "Goodbye", it was "All ahead bendix", two thumbs up and an "A-OK".
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Oct. 20, 2013