Ernest Gray Depew



Ernest Gray Depew was born on June 15, 1931 in Follansbee, W.Va. and lived there until he was 10 years old. At that time he and his family moved to Van Nuys, Calif. He attended grammar school through high school in Van Nuys. Shortly after graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed in Burtonwood, England. He was chosen to be a part of an Air Force baseball team called “the Ambassadors” whose purpose was to foster good relations with countries like Germany, France and Spain.

Following his honorable discharge in 1954, he started work at Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, Calif. where he met and married Patricia Donnelley. That was the beginning of what became a 62-year romance. They were blessed with three daughters: Alana, Kellyn and Jill Kathleen.

Ernie was both creative and talented. He could design anything, create anything, build anything and repair anything and was always looking forward to the next project. For example, he built a wonderful 36-foot sailing sloop and a beautiful home in Vista, Calif.

Then in the 1960s, Ernie hired on at the movie studios as a carpenter/coordinator, building movie sets. He worked on many great movies and TV sets, such as “I Love Lucy,” “Star Trek,” “Roots,” “Jaws,” “ET” and “Tin Cup.” He enjoyed every moment of every show.

In 1998 Ernie retired from the studios and he and Patricia moved to Mariposa where Ernie built three more beautiful homes.

Ernie’s favorite movie was “Red Rivers” with John Wayne. His favorite song was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Ernie died on July 13, 2018 and he is missed more than words could ever say.

A “time to remember Ernie” is in the planning stages for family, friends and neighbors.

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