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ERNIE, the Quiet Man

Ernie Fresquez passed away on Monday, April 3, 2017. Ernie was born November 7, 1927 to Catalina and Manuel Fresquez on a small farm about five miles north of Roswell, New Mexico. He was the sixth of eight children: Elfides married to Tony Gallegos (4 boys); Corine married to John Gaona (3 boys); Willie married to Blanche; Elia married to Ron Slater; Leo married to Gerry; Ernie married to Lena Jo; Sam; and, May Lou married to Joseph Valdez (2 girls, 1 boy)

As a young boy, he worked on the farm and also herded sheep on the ranch. The farm was part of a large parcel that was homesteaded by the grandparents. It was a beautiful and wonderful place to grow up on. It was located on the Berendo River, near Roswell (western Chavez County) therefore all eight children learned how to swim at a very early age. Later when the family moved to Albuquerque, he and a very good friend Joe Garcia were probably the first life guards at the then Tingley Beach. And could he ever dive, especially from the high board.

Growing up close by the Roswell Country Club enabled all the boys to work as caddies and so began Ernie's love of the game of golf. He attended Roswell High School where he lettered in football, basketball, track and baseball. After graduation, he joined the Navy, served one year and nine months as a radio man. When he returned, he attended UNM for a short time after which he worked at Bell Labs. He was recruited to work on Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands for two years. While there, he helped design its golf course (go figure). After this he went to live in San Diego with his two sisters; Corine worked as a riveter at Consolidated Aircraft, Elia was employed by the City Transit Company. During this time, he made friends with the now famous Don Larson who still holds the record for the only no hitter in a World Series. Don pitched and Ernie was his catcher in softball. His friend Don did stop by to visit Ernie while passing through Albuquerque.

After returning, (the Family moved to Albuquerque in 1947) he started working at the telephone company where he met his wife Lena Jo of over thirty years. Both retired after some thirty years. He continued pursuing his love of golf winning countless tournaments. He won the 1986 Sun Country Senior Amateur Men's Golf Championship and also played Lee Trevino and beat him on the same course. He and his brother Sam teamed together to win many tournaments. When the Olympics held their first Senior Games in St. Louis, he won the gold medal in his age group! Not bad, huh. A lifetime of trophies (and Nambe ware, which he gave to his sister Mary Lou) are now but wonderful memories to his family.

Ernie loved picnics in the Sandia mountains with family, he always made the afternoons fun with his card games and stories. He showed great kindness and love, supporting his sister Elia after losing her husband. After he lost his wife, Ernie lived alone not wanting to go into a retirement home, he always said, "I am not there just yet". He was particularly close to his niece Debbie and Craig and his nephew Joey and Barbara who live the closest to him. They all spoiled him with weekend meals, coffee and goodie breaks, especially Barbara (blueberry muffins, sopapillas, etc.). He always mentioned his niece Montserrat and Rick never forgetting greeting cards for any and all occasions.

If there is one word that describes Ernie, it would be FAMILY. While his mother lived, he was completely devoted to his mother Catalina. And because he was so caring to his brothers and sisters, his sister Elia named him The Godfather, his nephew Phillip called him The Quiet Man. He leaves behind a legacy of quiet kindness, quiet gentleness and so much love of family. He can never be replaced and his memory will live on forever.

Rosary and Mass for Ernest Fresquez will be held Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at Risen Savior Catholic Community, 7701 Wyoming Blvd. NE. The Rosary will begin at 9:15 a.m. followed by his eulogy with a Mass to follow at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be scheduled at a later date.

FRENCH - Wyoming
7121 Wyoming Blvd. NE
(505) 823-9400