Ernest Barkley Reiter

March 15, 1949 – Nov. 13, 2023


Ernest Barkley Reiter, age 74, passed away unexpectedly at Intermountain Health in St. George, Utah, on Nov. 13, 2023.

Ernie was born in Estherville, Iowa, on March 15, 1949. His family had a small farm outside of Bancroft, Iowa, but when he was 1 year old, his father joined the Navy. He became a Navy brat, traveling to many spots around America with his family.

He left his family home in California when he was 17 and managed to travel back to his grandparents in Armstrong, Iowa. It was there, on a blind date, that he met the girl who would share the rest of his life. 

He discovered his love for underground coal mining when he landed a job in Ohio. He followed the coal mining industry to Utah, becoming a longwall mechanic. As the mines began laying off employees, Ernie went to airline maintenance school, becoming an airline mechanic. He started with United in San Francisco but moved to America West in Phoenix. 

But when the coal mines offered him a job again, he jumped at the chance and returned to end his working career in the Utah mines.

He was a man with a huge heart. He loved all animals and had several kitties throughout his lifetime. Ernie loved sharing stories and a beer or two with friends and family. His favorite pastime was Jeeping all the trails in the surrounding mountains. He also enjoyed boating, fishing and camping with his wife.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Sharon, and three daughters: Christa Peak (Justin) of Flagstaff, Arizona; Stacy Adair (Tony) of Castle Rock, Colorado; and Amber Johnson (Matt) of Maple Valley, Washington. He also has six grandchildren: Tyler and Addison Adair, Harper and Waylon Peak, and Ethan and Preston Johnson. He also has one surviving sister, Sharon, of Bremerton, Washington.