Ernest (Ernie) P. Maldonado, loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and a friend to many passed away Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, at the young age of 62. He was born on Nov. 4, 1958, to Lydia and Alfredo M. Maldanodo in Morenci, Arizona.
Ernie was a hard worker, who in his younger years, loved his last job of being a Hotshot for Overgaard, Arizona Apache Sitegraves. He was an avid NASCAR fan and # 3, Dale Earnhardt, was his favorite driver. Both he and his wife, Rhea, enjoyed following NASCAR. Ernie liked camping, fishing, movies (lots of Harry Potter LOL), music, and dogs. He always wanted another puppy.
No matter what he was dealing with in life, Ernie was always kind and cheerful, was quick with a smile and a laugh. Ernie was especially the happiest when he was sharing time with his son, nieces, and nephews. He made all of his family and friends feel valued and appreciated. He liked to call all the girls sweetheart; we loved that, yet we knew he missed his real sweetheart, Rhea.
Ernie endured loss, injury, and pain but he always found a smile for us. He was a spirit full of love.
Ernie was preceded in death by his wife, Rhea; our sister, Ida M. Aguilar, and our dad, Alfredo M. Maldonado.
He is survived by our mom, Lydia Maldonado; son, Ian Arrellin; brothers, Alfredo L. Maldonado (Patricia), and Frank P. Maldonado (Aurelia); sisters, Berlinda R. Remo (Tony), and Lydia J. Garcia (Frank), and many nieces nephews.
A visitation will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 17, with a Recitation of the Rosary at 4 p.m., and the funeral service will begin at 5 p.m. at McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel located at 112 East Main St., Safford, Arizona, 85546. Interment will take place at a later date.
Funeral Services are being cared for by McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel located at 112 East Main St., Safford, Arizona, 85546, 928-428-1740.