Ernest Dean Flegel, 64, passed away at his home in Ammon on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. He battled cancer for two years and passed peacefully surrounded by his family.
Ernie was born Nov. 24, 1947, in Newport, Wash., to Christian and Irene Marie (Miller) Flegel. His family later moved to Coeur d'Alene, then to Rexburg. He attended schools in Coeur d'Alene and at Ricks College in Rexburg.
In 1968, Ernie was drafted into the Army. He trained in Fort Lewis, Wash., and Fort Sill, Okla. He served during the Vietnam War, first in Schweinfurt, Germany, and then in Vietnam as a 155 Howitzer gunner with the 4th Infantry Division.
On May 26, 1971, Ernie married Mary L. Parsons in Rexburg and later moved to Ammon. In 1980, they were sealed together in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple.
Ernie served in several callings in the church, including executive secretary, Elder's Quorum secretary and teacher and Scoutmaster.
Ernie's hobby was cars. First with his wife, and later with his six sons, he built, modified, fabricated and refinished several vintage cars and trucks. Ernie and Mary built and raced a 1971 modified super-gas Vega racecar. Later, when his boys were old enough to help, he built and raced a rear-engine dragster.
He was fortunate to be able to work all his life in the automotive industry that he loved. For the past 18 years, he worked as a shop foreman and heavy-equipment mechanic for A-Core Concrete. His work associates appreciated his good humor, his knowledge and his never-ending willingness to help.
Ernie was preceded in death by his father, Christian Flegel, and his sister, Sharron Flegel.
He is survived by his mother, Irene Flegel of Idaho Falls; sisters, Delma Bolkcom and Lois Baird, both of Idaho Falls, and Judy Seay of Spokane, Wash.; wife, Mary; and his six sons, Rex of Meridian, Idaho, Randy (Amber) of Idaho Falls, Lance (Brandy) of Idaho Falls, Cody (Mandy) of Marysville, Wash., Spencer (Andrea) of Puyallup, Wash., and Austin "A.J." (Alicia) of Idaho Falls. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren, Jeramy, Joseph, Britany, Tim, Fancee, Cole, Kierston, Shantelle, Nic, Logan, Wyatt, McKenzie, and a granddaughter expected in three weeks.
The family extends their gratitude to the great doctors and nurses who helped Ernie through his final months of illness, most recently the caring staff of Jill Garrett's Hands of Hope Hospice.
The family will visit with friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Wood Funeral Home East Side (casual dress), and from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Saturday prior to services. The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Wood Funeral Home East Side, 963 S. Ammon Road. Burial will be at Ammon Cemetery on Sunnyside Road. Military rites will be performed by the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard. Arrangements are under the direction of Wood Funeral Home East Side.
Online condolences may be sent to www.woodfuneralhome.com.