Ernie Salazar passed away peacefully in his sleep of natural causes, at home in Woods Cross, UT, on December 6, 2022, at the age of 80. He was born in Tierra Amarilla, NM, on March 30, 1942, to Ernesto Salazar and Sofia Beatrice Duran. To Ernie’s mother, siblings, nieces, nephews and many friends, he was known as “Junior”.

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Moved to Utah as a small child and grew up in the Salt Lake City area. He graduated from West High School.

Ernie married Shirley Sunderland on December 28, 1963, at St. Patrick’s Church in Salt Lake City by Father Pollock of Blessed Sacrament Church where Ernie regularly attended for many years. Although they divorced after 33 years of marriage, they remained close to each other during the remainder of his life. The marriage was blessed with 4 beautiful children: Scott Ernest, Angela (Angi), Shelece and Steven David.

In November 1963, Ernie enlisted in the Utah National Guard. He attended Basic Training at Fort Ord, CA, and trained as an Auto Maintenance Helper. Upon graduation he was assigned to A Battery 1BN 140FA.

Some of Ernie’s other duty assignments include:

115th Maintenance Company, served as the Senior Auto Repairman in 1977.

144th Evacuation/Combat Support Hospital, served in various positions from 1977-1995 but ultimately as the Senior Motor Sergeant/First Sergeant.

155th Maintenance Company, served as the First Sergeant from 1996 until his retirement in 2002.

Deployments include:

OPERATION DESERT STORM, Saudi Arabia, 1990-1991

Task Force Southwest Border California, 1997

Ft. Clayton Panama, 1998

Awards and Decorations include:

Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal W/ 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal W/ 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal W/ 1 Star, Southwest Asia Service Medal W/ 3 stars, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, National Guard Service Ribbon 20 Years, NCO Professional Development Ribbon W/ Numeral 3, Army Service Ribbon, Reserve Overseas Ribbon 2nd Award, Saudi Arabia Liberation Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.

Expert Marksman Badge

Drivers Badge

Retired honorably from the Utah National Guard on March 30, 2002, as a Master Sergeant after 39 years of Service.

Ernie also volunteered for many years with the Sandy City Fire Department as an EMT, and worked part time for several years as a Service Writer for Sears Automotive. Upon retirement in 2002, Ernie worked a few years for the State of Utah performing statewide vehicle inspections in preparation for the fire season.

Family was the most important thing to Ernie. He was always available and willing to help his family out with whatever the need or desire. Ernie also enjoyed his coffee every morning with what he called a “biscuit”, which was usually a donut or sweet pastry of some sort. He was a generous man, full of life, witty, a good provider, dependable and a hard worker. He enjoyed gardening, traveling, fishing and was a great vehicle mechanic.

Survived by children Scott Salazar (Shona), Angi Johnson (Barry), Shelece Sargent (Brandon), Steven Salazar (Jessica), 18 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, brothers: Paul Salazar, Ray Salazar, sisters: Ruth Fresques (Emilio), Rosie Archuleta and many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by parents, sister Mary Vialpando, niece, nephew, aunts and uncles.

Ernie donated his body to the Medical Science Department, University of Utah Hospital. Celebration of Life will be celebrated with a Mass on March 30, 2023, at Saint Olaf Catholic Church, 276 E 1700 S, Bountiful, UT 84010, at 4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Utah Food Bank, or a charity of your choice, on his behalf.

Life Story Info

Post Date

Jan 28, 2023

Personal Info

Age

80
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Guestbook

Ernie was and embodiment of faith, gentleness and generosity to those in need.

May God reward his faithful servant.

I am grateful to have had him in my life.

Fr. Andrzej

Andrzej Skrzypiec , Bountiful, UT, US Mar 27, 2023

Ernie was and embodiment of faith, gentleness and generosity to those in need.

May God reward his faithful servant.

I am grateful to have had him in my life.

Fr. Andrzej

Andrzej Skrzypiec , Bountiful, UT, US Mar 27, 2023

Ernie was a good leader. He treated people with respect and got it in return. My heart is sunken with the news of his passing. I served with him in the 144th evac hospital during desert storm. He will be missed.

michael landro , millcreek, UT, US Feb 28, 2023

Ernie was a good leader. He treated people with respect and got it in return. My heart is sunken with the news of his passing. I served with him in the 144th evac hospital during desert storm. He will be missed.

michael landro , millcreek, UT, US Feb 28, 2023

Ernie was a good leader. He treated people with respect and got it in return. My heart is sunken with the news of his passing. I served with him in the 144th evac hospital during desert storm. He will be missed.

michael landro , millcreek, UT, US Feb 28, 2023

Rest In Peace my friend. You were a great mentor and leader.

Thank you,

Vince

Vincent P Wolff , Draper, UT, US Feb 17, 2023

My primo Ju Ju, I am so sorry about your death. I will always remember you being there for me when we were teenagers. I love you 😍 💗

Eliza Aguilar , Salt Lake , UT, US Feb 06, 2023

My primo Ju Ju, I am so sorry about your death. I will always remember you being there for me when we were teenagers. I love you 😍 💗

Eliza Aguilar , Salt Lake , UT, US Feb 06, 2023

My primo Ju Ju, I am so sorry about your death. I will always remember you being there for me when we were teenagers. I love you 😍 💗

Eliza Aguilar , Salt Lake , UT, US Feb 06, 2023

He was a great neighbor.

Lillie Marie Smith Feb 04, 2023

He was a great neighbor.

Lillie Marie Smith Feb 04, 2023

We will miss you, greatly, uncle. .You were loved very much and we will always cherish

our time and talks with you. Say "hi" to mom and grandma for us. Love you always

Mark & Ginger Montoya , Taylorsville, UT, US Jan 29, 2023

I miss my brother my friend my breakfast

Buddy for the last few years.

Mom will be happy to see her HETO….

Ray Salazar , Kearns , UT, US Jan 28, 2023

I miss my brother my friend my breakfast

Buddy for the last few years.

Mom will be happy to see her HETO….

Ray Salazar , Kearns , UT, US Jan 28, 2023

I miss my brother my friend my breakfast

Buddy for the last few years.

Mom will be happy to see her HETO….

Ray Salazar , Kearns , UT, US Jan 28, 2023

I miss my brother my friend my breakfast

Buddy for the last few years.

Mom will be happy to see her HETO….

Ray Salazar , Kearns , UT, US Jan 28, 2023

Missing my brother Junior. I ask Jesus to take him to heaven where he can meet our mother sister and other family members who have gone before him. Rest in peace Junior

Ruth Fresques , Hurricane, UT, US Jan 28, 2023

Missing my brother Junior. I ask Jesus to take him to heaven where he can meet our mother sister and other family members who have gone before him. Rest in peace Junior

Ruth Fresques , Hurricane, UT, US Jan 28, 2023

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