by Amanda Egan
More than 150 students and faculty filled Dailey Theatre last Friday to remember a campus employee and a true friend, Ernie Granillo. He died peacefully at his home in La Verne on March 16.
There was a somber vibe permeating the theater before the memorial service began. The La Verne choir began the service with a performance that let the crowd relax and remember the type of attitude that Granillo installed upon them. The group began to smile, laugh and talk to the person sitting next to them who was probably a complete stranger.
Campus Minister Debbie Roberts began with prayer and reflection. Since Granillo was involved with theater and loved the program so much, a video was shown in his remembrance. There were clips of him showing off his musical talent with the acoustic guitar in “Don Juan” and his acting ability in Shakespeare. Granillo was involved in many productions at the University.
After the video tribute students, faculty, family and friends were invited to go on stage and speak about Ernie. An overwhelming amount of people responded and brought tears and laughter amongst the crowd. Students talked about how Granillo made them humble and taught them how to believe in themselves. Faculty spoke about Ernie’s helping hand in any situation and his undying support of every program at this University.
Ernie’s cousin shared memories of their childhood together and the talents that he had been blessed with at a young age.
Each person that spoke described Ernie as a happy, loving, brilliant man who set no limitations for himself.
At the close of the service a folk band performed while others lit candles on stage and devoted silence to Ernie and his memory.