October 6, 1936 – October 16, 2020
ERNEST LEON FREESTONE, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother, passed away peacefully on October 16, 2020.
Ernest was born to Emery and Ida (Crouse) Freestone on October 6, 1936 in Vernal, a city in eastern Utah, where his grandfather George Freestone was sent by Brigham Young to create a settlement in the late 1800s. Ernest grew up in Vernal, spending many days playing with his cousin and good friend, Denny Campbell. One story he liked to share was how they would eat fruit from off of a neighbor’s tree, not caring much whether the fruit showed signs of worms. He also had a job running the movie projectors at the Vernal Theatre.
He graduated from Uintah High School in 1954, finished a year of college at BYU, then left in early 1957 to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the West German Mission. During his mission he taught F. Enzio Busche, who later became a general authority in the church. Throughout his life, Ernest served faithfully in many callings in the church.
After his mission, Ernest joined the U.S. Army where he served three years, followed by three years in the U.S. Army Reserves. During his time in the military he used his talent as a photographer and received training in motion picture photography.
Ernest furthered his education by attending the DeVry Technical Institute, where he received a degree in Communications in March of 1964, and by taking correspondence courses in color TV servicing in 1971, and electronics technology in 1973.
He met his wife, Pamela Durman, soon after she arrived from England in the summer of 1965. They were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on December 7 of that year. They went on to have five children together: Matt Freestone (Kellie), Sara Miles (Robert), David Freestone (Jennie), Rachel Freeman (Blake), and Miriam Hatch (Reed). He enjoyed being a grandfather to 15 grandchildren.
During his married life, Ernest worked in electronics: first for TeleMation, and then for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After retiring, he spent much of his time working with Pamela on genealogical research. They served together as Family History Consultants for their stake.
As his health began to deteriorate, Ernest spent his last few years living at Copper Ridge Health Care, a skilled nursing facility. He spent some of that time sharing a room with Pamela, who passed away one year and seven months to the day before he did. It is wonderful to know that the two of them are now reunited.
He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, brothers (Melvin, Harold, Dallas), sisters (Dorothy and Lois) and one grandchild (Seth). He is survived by one sister, Doris.
There will be a private family viewing and graveside service on Thursday, October 22, 2020 at Valley View Memorial Park in West Valley City, Utah.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
October 24, 2020
Uncle Ernest was always an example to me in every stage of my life. He helped my Mother's family many times. He was a great example of getting training and using that training. My brother Brent and I as kids always enjoyed watching Uncle Ernest work on his projects at Grandma Freestone's house. When I was an adult, he showed me how to recharge the refrigerant in my car's air conditioning. That is something I have done many times since.
October 20, 2020
I had the opportunity to find my Uncle Ernest one afternoon as I was wandering around Temple Square. My work had me deliver something to another location at the old Crossroads Plaza, which is now the City Creek Mall. I had fun discussing with him that I played in the Mormon Symphony, and that I was there at the Tabernacle every Thursday. I knew he worked there, so I asked him exactly what he did. He looked at his watch and then promptly took me down into the tunnels, and gave me a tour of his workshop where he spent most of his time. Doing so made him late for his bus to go home, so I offered to take him home. I was taken aback when a colleague of his said, "See you later Ernie!" I guess because of Grandma Freestone's propensity and insistence to call everyone by their given name, I had a hard time believing Uncle Ernest had a nickname. It was interesting to see family in their "work environment", and not in the "family environment."
He was happy to wait for another bus, but I insisted I take him. It had been a while since being at his home, so I was excited to visit again. We had a great time talking on the way home. I loved walking through the house as memory after memory popped up and hovered over each of the different rooms I was seeing. Memories flooded my mind of playing with dear cousins, and listening to Aunt Pam's lovely British voice. This was probably the closest experience I've ever had with Ernest, and my only one-on-one time with him. (ca. Fall 1998-Spring 1999)