Ernest “Ernie” J. Sanchez

Ernest “Ernie” J. Sanchez

2/1936 – 1/3/2021

Ernest “Ernie” J. Sanchez, 84, of Carpinteria, passed away on Jan. 3, 2021 in Santa Barbara. 

Ernie was born in February 1936 at St. Francis Hospital in Santa Barbara to Albert and Jennie Sanchez of Carpinteria. Ernie was raised in Carpinteria along with his sisters Gloria (Fisher) and Dolly (Montalvo) where he attended elementary school through high school. He played football for Carpinteria High School and earned the nickname “Moose” for his large physique and hard-hitting talent on the field. This led him on to play ball at San Bernardino City College and garnered him an offer to try out for the then Baltimore Colts. Ernie declined the offer and decided instead to enlist in the US Marine Corp in 1956, in which he proudly served until 1958. He then served in the reserves until 1962, when he was honorably discharged. 

In 1961, Ernie met and married Sally Mendoza, the love of his life. After living in Santa Barbara, they eventually settled in Carpinteria with their three children John, Paul and Suzanne. With his strong work ethic, Ernie excelled and worked his way to G-12 status at Pt. Mugu Naval Air  Station as an equipment management specialist. Ernie was a Marine through and through, but also a proud civil servant to the naval base for 28 years. His dedication to his work and country was immeasurable as was his love of his family. 

Family gatherings, watching and coaching his children’s sports, family travel and camping trips were among his favorite things. Ernie was a second father to many children. He greatly enjoyed working with youth and coaching, as well as helping to establish the CYAA in Carpinteria. Eventually, he and Sally could be found front and center at their grandchildren’s events, even if there were two or three in one day. Ernie and Sally were both also very involved parishioners of St. Joseph Catholic Church. For many years, they could be seen working in the taco or prize booth at the Annual St. Joseph’s Festival.    

After retiring, Ernie and Sally traveled in their trailer. Their adventures took them to destinations near and far. When they weren’t traveling, Ernie would help out in the offices of his sons’ businesses, as well as spending time and helping with his great grandchildren (and grand-dogs). He always found time to keep in shape and could be seen walking or biking around Carpinteria with that familiar big smile. You would often see him visiting with friends or family he came across during his walks and rides, many times to talk cars and racing. His love of racing would occasionally take him and Sally to the Bonneville Salt Flats to enjoy a couple of days of racing. 

Ernie also took great pride in being a flag bearer for the Marine Corps Auxiliary at the Carpinteria Cemetery Memorial Day Services for many years and always stayed to speak with young and old veterans, their families and the scouts that were in attendance. He made it a point to seek out any young military personnel in attendance to thank them for their service. 

With all his energy and love of life, Ernie will be remembered as a man who loved his family, his country and was a true gentleman. 

Ernie is proceeded by and now reunited with his parents Albert and Jennie Sanchez and great-granddaughter Harley Jade Millhollin. He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Sally Sanchez and their children, John (Polly), Paul (Michelle), Suzie (Keith) Millhollin; grandchildren Andrew (Lizette), Ivan, Kyle, Anthony (Brett), Daniel “Mo”, Monique, Alix (Ryan), Briana and David; great-grandchildren Zoey, Sienna, Luciana and Nico; siblings Gloria (John), Dolly (Willie), and his large extended family including many loving cousins, nieces and nephews. 

The family would like to thank the caregivers and staff at Villa Alamar along with Central Coast Hospice and Doctor Bourne for the excellent and loving care they gave to Ernie and the family. We would also like to thank Dr. Robert Byers for his many years of excellent care. Many thanks to the Friendship Center of Montecito and to EasyLift for their kindness and help over the years. Due to Covid, a private service will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Friendship Center, Easy Lift or the Alzheimer’s Association. In the words of Sally, “We lived a story book life was wonderful.” 

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