Ernest Joseph Bertaina (Ernie) passed away on July 4, 2002, at his home with his loved ones by his side. Born in Hanford in 1928 to Barney and Rosie Bertaina, he attended kindergarten in a one-room schoolhouse (South School). He attended Jefferson Elementary, then graduated 8th grade from St.Rose Catholic school in 1943. He was a Hanford High graduate with the Class of 1947.
Ernie had so many jobs throughout his lifetime. He farmed with his family; drove a school bus for Hanford High School; worked for Bertram Motor Sales and Lakeside School; and was an Animal Control Officer for the County of Kings for 41 years. In his “spare time” Ernie was a Hanford Police Department Reserve Officer, a Deputy Constable and a Private Process Server.
To top it all off, we worked part-time for Whitehurst McNamara Funeral Service for over 50 years.
In 1950 Ernie became a member of Hanford Sons of Italy Lodge #1543. He was a member for 72 years at the time of his death. Along with his parents, Ernie helped bring the culture of Italy to his relatives and friends in America. He held several different offices throughout the years, helping at dinner-dances, spaghetti dinners and other fundraisers. In the past several years, Ernie never missed the Lodge Polenta Dinner held in January. As this was his birthday month, Hanford Lodge members usually honored him with a birthday cake; this year “94” decorated the cake!! He was always so appreciative. His hobbies included woodworking.
He donated several of his birdhouses and milking stools to be used as raffle gifts at several fundraisers. He loved giving friends keychains adorned with religious crosses, etc. (His family had these available for taking at his Rosary.) We will never forget our brother, Ernie!!
He leaves behind a loving family: Gladys, his wife; Elsie Bertaina, his sister; four children: Michael (Candy); Cheryl, Denny and Matthew; five grandchildren: Steve Bertaina (Heather), Jennifer Wagner (John); Aaron Atteberry (Janell), Chase Lehn, and Kevin Bertaina; two stepchildren: Michael Garcia and Amy Zaragoza; and numerous great-grandchildren andgreat-great grandchildren. Riposare in pace, Fratello, Ernie!!
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