Ernie Carlson, a long-time Fontana resident, celebrates his 90th birthday | News

Long-time Fontana resident and business owner Ernie Carlson will be celebrating his 90th birthday this month.

Carlson was born on Nov. 30, 1932 in his home on Fontana Avenue, a house which still stands today.

The fourth of five children, he graduated from Chaffey High School, and afterward he and several of his Fontana friends joined the U.S. Navy. He served in the Korean War from 1951 to 1955, mostly on the USS Bayfield APA 33, working in the engine room.

After he was honorably discharged, he continued his skills as a machinist at many Fontana locations.

In 1960 he married Joanne, whom he had known through school and church. They were married for 41 years until her passing in 2002. He adopted her three children Pam, Rick (deceased) and Sheree. They then had two children, Cathy and Steve. He is now the proud grandpa and papa to 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

“Dad has a hard exterior with a soft underbelly. He will do anything for anyone,” said his daughter, Cathy McCarthy, speaking on behalf of all of the family members. “All of his children and grandchildren know that if you need something fixed or if you are broke down on the side of the road (no matter how far away), call dad/gramps. His great-grandchildren always bring him so much joy and biggest smiles to his face.”

Carlson was part owner of C & J Auto Parts and Machine Shop on Sierra Avenue for more than 30 years.

Except for his time in the Navy and the past several years when he moved to Bloomington to live with his daughter and son-in-law, he had always resided in Fontana.

Now he enjoys his Saturdays at the Fontana Fire Museum and playing draw poker at Yaamava Resort and Casino.

He will be celebrating with his family and friends on Dec. 3.

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