Donlou, Ernest George, "Ernie," a 71 year resident of the South Bay, passed away peacefully in the afternoon of Thursday, July 24, 2008 at his home in Redondo Beach surrounded by his family. Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1932, Ernie was 75 when he died. At age 5, Ernie and his family moved to Redondo Beach from Michigan. He graduated from Redondo Union High School in 1950, and later graduated from USC. He was a war veteran who served honorably in the Army during the Korean Conflict. Ernie worked for 34 years in the Manhattan Beach City School District, from 1958 to 1992. As he was a distinguished and respected educator, the City of Manhattan Beach declared June 5th, 1992 "Ernie Donlou Day" as recognition of his achievements and numerous awards in education. Ernie was an avid sports enthusiast who loved to play paddle tennis, golf and watch USC football. Ernie was known for his compassion, kindness, love for children, teaching and will always be remembered for his easy going manner, fun loving ways, and ready wit. Ernie was known affectionately as "Coach" to many of the kids he taught baseball to at Sunset Little League and as Papou to his grand kids and family. Some of his favorite things to do each day from his home on the Esplanade was to watch the surfers, look for dolphins, play with his grandchildren and most importantly enjoy the sunset with his wife Sophia. Ernie always felt that seeing a dolphin in the morning meant good luck for him all day. He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Sophia. Together they had three children: George (Lynn) Donlou of San Diego; Chris (Kelly) Donlou of Torrance; and Julie (David) Elliott of Redondo Beach. His beloved grandchildren are Sean, Chad, Paige, Chase, Blake, Krista, Cory, Melissa and great grandchildren Sean Ryder and Noah. Ernie is also survived by his mother Julia who turned 96 in April and his brother Gordon. He was preceded in death by his beloved father, George Donlou, a respected businessman and community leader. During the formative years of Redondo Beach the Donlou family owned and operated three markets known as the Donlou Brothers Market. The Trisagion will be held at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Redondo Beach on Monday July 28, 2008 at 7pm. The Service will be held Tuesday at 10am. Burial will follow at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes. Luncheon will be held at the Church following the Graveside service. In lieu of flowers or other gifts it was Ernie's wish that well wishers donate any funds to the Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church that his family help found. May God bless you: Soul Mate, Dad, Son, Papou, Teacher, Coach and Friend. You will be greatly missed! Please use this website to send the family messages, share memories, obtain directions to services, and check back to view the online video tribute.

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  1. Mr. Donlou was my middle school Principal from 1982-1985 at Foster A. Begg in Manhattan Beach. I did not spend much time in his office, a big relief to my parents, but remember him fondly as a wonderful, sweet man that was kind to me and my fellow classmates. Rest in peace.

  2. I remember Ernie from high school; affable, good natured and just an all around nice kid, as was Gordie. Truly sorry to hear of his passing.

  3. Nothing can be said about your loss, I only hope you know how much his family meant to him. He always treated me like family and I loved being with him. He was a fun guy and I will miss him dearly.

  4. It was a joy to know Ernie and to tease him about the Trojans bailouts of jail. He was a good sport and he will be missed as a fellow golf nut. May his Memory be Eternal!

  5. I’m saddened to hear of Ernie’s passing. I knew of Ernie when I was at RUHS 1945-49, and also knew Gordon Donlou when we were part of a musical group with teacher, Floyd Slover. I lived at 719 Avenue C, just two doors away from Sylvia and her family, who were especially thoughtful of my mother, Esther Leeds. Please accept my thoughts and prayers for the Donlou family. Sincerely, Marjorie Leeds McClung

  6. To the Ernie Donlou Family, I am saddened to hear of Ernie’s death. I remember Ernie from South Elementary School through RUHS. Gordon was a classmate of mine. Ernie was such a handsome guy and pleasant to be around. I’m sure he was loved by all in his chosen career. I feel blessed to have known him throughout our school days. God Bless You All, Marian McCandless Buck

  7. Sorry to hear of Ernie’s passing. He was a great person and friendly with everyone. He will be missed by all. Jim & Dick from the Club

  8. Dear Family, How can I sit here with tears streaming down my face and a smile as well. Uncle Ernie can do that to me. What a joy he has been in my life’s memories. I love you all and know we are there with you in thoughts and prayers. I don’t think I can make it out to CA which is a difficult decision for me. My heart aches to be with you all. With all my love, Grace

  9. To the Donlou family our deepest sympathy. Ernie you were a good friend Margaret and I will miss youre smile,along the esplanade. Goodbye friend.

  10. To all the Donlou Family, What a privilage it was to know Ernie at our family at Aviation High School. Ernie was a wonderful counselor that cared and loved each and every student that was lucky enough to have him as their mentor. I was the school nurse there for nine years and at various times we had times for chats about our families, social lives etc. You all know he loved each and every one of you with all the love he had as when he spoke of you that beautiful smile of his shone like the star he is now. There were times when he had concerns about his son’s health and we would discuss everything and that was the only time his serious, worried side came out. We always ended our chats with a hug and he knew my prayers were with him. Now they are with all of you as you all were lucky to be a “Donlou” family member! God bless and pleasant memories of a most special man………… Sheila Fruhling

  11. We have many fond memories of Ernie. He will truly be missed. Our prayers go out to you Sophia during this difficult time.


  13. We are saddened at news of the passing. Ernie was the principal of La Marina School when we experienced his professionalism. He set an example for educators that will be seldom, if ever, matched! He was a strong leader, but more importantly, a friend of every student, parent, and teacher.

  14. Sophia and family, Among our blessings in life has been the opportunity to know Ernie. They must have some great golf courses where Ernie is now, and the Greek army is certainly gathering there. God’s peace and love to you all in this time of sorrow and always. Richard and Mary

  15. Ralph and I both worked with Ernie in Manhattan Beach. He was always positive and full of humor, and always a gentleman. He had a big impact as an educator and will be missed. Sara and Ralph Ford

  16. I wanted to send my condoleces to the family regarding Mr. Donlou’s passing. I only knew him as Mr. Donlou, my Principal at Begg Jr High. He was always kind and even tempured with everyone and all the kids liked him. I know people held him in high regard. Over the years I would hear my parents speak of Mr. Donlou and what school he was working at and I would smile. I will always remember him and I am so glad he had a happy and full life. Dianne Cherniak

  17. To the Donlou Family, My sincere aplogies for the confusion when I wrote you. It was Gordie I worked with at Aviation and upon seeing the name Donlou and the picture of his dear brother that Gordie looked so much like that caused my confusion. My prayers are for all the Donlou family upon their great loss. Sincerely, Sheila Fruhling

  18. I am sadened to her of “Mr. Donlou”, as I knew him, passing. He was my principal at Foster A Begg Middle School from 1980 to 1983. We got to know each other rather well due to the amount of time I spent in his office for one reason or anther. He always treated me as one of “his” kids. He holds a special place in my heart for the compassion he showed me through those years. My prayers are with your entire family and this entire community as his passing is a great loss to us all. God Bless Mr. Donlou!

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