Ernest “Ernie” J. Rapoza, 66, of Fall River, husband of Susan F. (Cabral) Rapoza, passed away at home, Tuesday, March 10, 2020 after an illness.
After attending Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, Ernie worked at several auto repair shops including Norwest where he met his “SusieQ” who became his best friend and soulmate. He also worked at Empire Chevrolet and Sullivan Auto before opening his own shop, “Ernie's Auto Repair” in Westport, moving the business to Fall River shortly thereafter where he served his customers for over 40 years. Ernie had a true love for cars and the family joked that he had engine oil running through his veins as his work was also his hobby. A racing enthusiast, he raced his '57 Chevy and classic front engine dragster at New England Dragway and other events in the New England area. Ernie played the trumpet and piano. He loved the Oldies, Nikola Tesla and the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he had his own piece of heaven that he enjoyed with his wife, kids and grandkids. Ernie never stopped learning and enjoyed teaching himself new things. Ernie had a fiercely independent spirit; nothing was impossible if he put his mind to it, including building the family home with a majestic stone fireplace that he was so proud of.
Besides his wife of 47 years, he leaves his two children, Julie Marie Aguiar (husband Roger) of New Bedford and Ernest Rapoza (wife Susan) of Raleigh, NC; three grandchildren, Abigail, Cadence and Gabriel Aguiar of New Bedford; seven siblings, Patricia Dubois of Fall River, Susan Brilhante of Portsmouth, RI, Anthony Rapoza (Lyn) of Sanbornville, NH, James Rapoza (Maureen) of Fall River, Kathleen Goulet (Jeff) of Swansea, Mary Elizabeth Perry (Marc) of Fall River and Timothy Rapoza of Dighton. He was the son of Ernest E. Rapoza of Tiverton and the late Leonilda (Mendonca) Rapoza. Ernie is also survived by in-laws Rosemary Caron, Ernest Cabral, Catherine Lopes and many nieces and nephews.
His funeral will be held Saturday at 10:00 AM from the Auclair Funeral Home, 690 So. Main St., with a Funeral Mass at St. George's Church, Westport at 11:00 AM.
A visitation will be held Friday from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Please omit flowers and consider a donation to the American Cancer Society, 3 Speen St., Suite 250, Framingham, MA 01701. Online guest book at AuclairFuneralHome.com.
Ernie’s family would like to kindly and respectfully ask that anyone who would like to attend his services to avoid wearing any fragrances because a family member has a severe allergy. They would like to thank you for your cooperation and thoughtfulness.
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