Ernest W. Tristao

August 21, 1934 ~ January 19, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Ernest Tristao Obituary

Family was everything to Ernest William Tristao, who passed away peacefully on January 19, 2024. His entire life was dedicated to loving and serving his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, community, and the Lord. Born on the family farm on August 21, 1934, Ernie grew to learn the value of hard work and dedication. While in high school at Tulare Union, he worked alongside his father and brother milking cows and growing crops. His passion for giving back to his community led him to add “school bus driver” to his resume where he would take school children to and from school in between milking cows. In his early 20s, he married Loni Jeffries and together they embarked on the journey of a lifetime - parenthood! Ernie loved being a parent to his four children, Rick, Dennis, Michelle, and Jennifer, and despite being busy on the dairy, he still found time to shower his family with love and trips to Pismo beach, Solvang, and the mountains to play in the snow. Throughout his life, one could always find Ernie keeping active in the Catholic church as a long-time member of the Knight of Columbus and being part of the TDES and Fatima committees. Always faithful, Ernie would diligently pray the rosary at 5:00 every evening with his parents and recite the “Hail Mary” prayer multiple times a day. He was so devout that even in his final hours, he was overheard reciting that same prayer to show his commitment to the Lord. Ernie also loved to play hard. In his free time, he would make wine, enjoy his cigars and battle anyone in a game of cards. When his grandchildren came along, he would play with them, allow them to chase the chickens, teach them about beef cattle and vegetable gardening, and show them how much his pal, Dennis the Goat, enjoyed rides alongside him in the golf cart. With his second wife Darlene Garrison by his side, he also taught the grandkids about entrepreneurship by opening a roadside vegetable stand where they would spend hours selling their unique, home-grown varieties to passersby. No one could grow a weird watermelon pumpkin like Ernie.  Ernie is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Mabel Tristao, his sisters, Mabel Sousa and Margarite Sa, and his ex-brides, Loni Tristao Kazarian and Darlene Tristao. He is survived by his brother George Tristao of Kauai, sister Mary Borges of Tulare, his children Rick Tristao and wife Rachel of Tulare, Dennis Tristao and wife Pam of Tulare, Michelle Bigney and husband George of Visalia, Jennifer Wolfley and husband Brent of Tulare, nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Recitation of the Rosary will be held on Monday, February 5, 2024, 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Miller's Tulare Funeral Home, 151 North H Street, Tulare 

Memorial Mass Service will be held on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, 10:30 a.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 125 E. Pleasant Avenue, Tulare, with Private Family Burial.

If you would like to order flowers you can call Peter Perkins Flowers at 559-734-6788 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ernest W. Tristao, please visit our floral store.

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Recitation of the Rosary
February 5, 2024

5:00 PM
Miller's Tulare Funeral Home
151 North H Street
Tulare, CA 93274

Memorial Mass
February 6, 2024

10:30 AM to 11:30 PM
St. Aloysius Catholic Church
125 E. Pleasant Ave
Tulare, CA 93274


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