On February 7th, 2017, at the age of 85 years old, Ernest Fennell peacefully passed from this life in Nephi, Utah due to a stroke.
During his life here, he had a passion for telling jokes and making people happy. He had a joke for every occasion, from weddings to funerals. He loved having his family around him as often as possible. He also loved being in the mountains, camping, hunting, gardening and planted fruit trees wherever he lived. He enjoyed dancing and music, and singing to his kids and grandkids.
Ernest was extremely patriotic and loved his country. He was a veteran and served in the Army in Germany and Austria.
Ernest became a convert to the LDS church in 1976. He was the first one in his family to become a member and later brought many of his family into the Church. He loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and spent years serving in many different callings. He especially loved missionary work and working with the young missionaries. He had a special aptitude for teaching the inmates. He served in the Vernal, Utah jail and the Hobbs, New Mexico prison and truly believed in repentance and turning one's life around.
He believed in hard work and often said " get up and get busy, people die in bed". He had many different jobs during his life. He was a district manager for Farmers Insurance for 15 years.
His latest career was a bold move of starting his own oil field service company in 1978, T&N Spoolers, which was very successful. He was a natural handyman and had a talent for taking old houses and making them beautiful. He and his son, Darren, flipped approximately 50 houses in New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. He was flipping houses before it became a fad. Ernest was born in Portales, New Mexico on August 4th, 1931. He was the 6th child of twelve children. He had a poor childhood, endured the Depression and the Dust Bowl, but always described it as being wonderful and happy. He had many fond memories of his parents Jesse Lee Fennell and his mother Ruby Gertrude Ross and all of his siblings.
He is survived by his loving wife Jaton Fennell of 64 years, his 5 children: Terri Stout, Renee Voigt, Gayla Gilchrist, Darren Fennell, and Laura Fennell. He has 10 grandkids and 19 great grandkids.
Funeral Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 11th, at the Nephi 10th Ward. We are also planning a military memorial graveyard service in New Mexico in March.