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In memory of

Charles Mike Erreca

Charles Mike Erreca
Charles Mike Erreca (1928 - 2022)

12/27/2022 - Bonita, California, USA

Charles (Charlie) Mike Erreca, 94, a lifelong San Diego native, passed away in his sleep at home on the morning of December 27, 2022.

Charlie was born on August 5, 1928 in Oceanside, CA to Joseph J. Erreca and Florence G. Rimbach Erreca, natives of San Diego and Del Mar respectively. The family's patriarch heritage comes from the French Basque community of Les Aldudes, France where his grandfather Michel Erreca immigrated to CA in 1890. Charlie attended Oceanside Elementary School and San Diego High School where he graduated in 1945. Following graduation, he enrolled in the Army.

Charlie served in the Army as a paratrooper during the Korean War. He loved the service and often volunteered to take others' turns when called to jump from the airplane. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1948. Charlie worked for MH Golden thereafter as a laborer and was promoted to superintendent. During his time with the Golden Co. he worked alongside his father Joseph, who was a crane operator. Charlie's father retired and quickly became bored. Charlie told his father that the Golden Company was always looking for a water truck. One truck led to several, and his father was no longer bored but needed some help. Charlie met with Bob Golden, who encouraged him to give the water truck business a try and "make a go of it." His last job working for M.H. Golden was the construction of the 10th Street Pier for the Port of San Diego. Seeing that the water truck business had a chance to grow given the needs in San Diego, with his wife Louise's back office help, Erreca's Water Truck Service was born in 1955. In the early 70's Charlie added Erreca's Equipment Rental, renting equipment to SDG&E and other agencies.

Charlie, with others, crafted the first Master Labor Agreement for Union workers in 1961-62 for laborers, Teamsters, carpenters, cement masons and operating engineers. At that time the water truck company employed the most construction Teamsters in San Diego.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob once remarked, "In the 60's, 70's and 80's, you knew construction was humming when you drove down the freeways around 4 or 5pm and saw the red water trucks headed back to Spring Valley to be serviced and readied for the next day."

As time and the company progressed, Charlie's son Scott Charles acquired his contractor license in 1978 and teamed up with Charlie to transform the company into what became known as Erreca's Inc. This became one of the more prominent freeway construction companies in San Diego with up to 250 employees. Notable freeway construction included the Hwy. 163/Hwy. 52 interchange, Hwy. 125, Hwy. 52 and various improvements on Hwy. 78, Hwy. 67, Hwy. 163, phase one of the Hwy. 805/I-5 interchange, along with a vast number of site developments for numerous subdivisions and their associated improvements. Erreca's Inc. also assisted in the renovation of the Laurel Street Bridge and excavated the site where the San Diego Convention Center is today. Charlie sat on the boards of Engineering Grading Contractors Association (EGCA), the Associated General Contractors (AGC), serving both organizations in labor contract negotiations for over 25 years. Additionally, he represented San Diego CalTrans District #11 on the statewide CalTrans Liaison Committee.

Charlie was a hard worker, but when he wasn't working, he loved to hunt bird and elk for consumption. He loved it so much that he and his lifelong friend and employee built their hunting cabin in Montana.

Charlie, athletic lover of sports and an avid golfer, shot lower than his age at 78 at his home golf course, San Diego Country Club. He enjoyed Charger football with friends and coworkers at his suite at Qualcomm stadium, traveled to Nascar races, and bet on horse races and football games with his long- time friend from Reno, NV. Charlie also traveled the world with several lifelong buddies where he and they created many, many cherished memories.

Charlie loved people and could light up a room with his infectious smile and rowdy sense of humor. He cherished quality time with family, friends and coworkers alike. His best advice was, "If you don't like someone or they have done you wrong, kill 'em with kindness and they won't know how to react."

Charlie is predeceased by his parents, his wife of 62 years Louise Flegal Erreca, daughter Charmaine Bridwell, sisters Evelyn Gribble, Margie Rimbach Erreca and brother Joseph (Bud) Erreca. He is survived by his son Scott Charles Erreca, granddaughter Katie Erreca Lindquist and her husband Randy and their children Weston and Shea; grandson Brett Erreca and his wife Audra and their children Benjamin, Adam and Josephine; and grandson Joshua Bridwell and his wife Brooke Durham. Charlie will be missed by his family and extended family, including many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service for Charlie will take place at the Little Chapel of the Roses, Glen Abby Mortuary, 3838 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA 91902 on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 from 11:00 - 12:00 pm, followed by a private burial ceremony.

A Celebration of Life reception will also take place thereafter at the San Diego Country Club, 88 L Street, Chula Vista, CA 91911 at 1:00 pm.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in Charles Erreca's memory to San Diego Humane Society. Your donation will be tripled as part of the SDHS End of Year match campaign.

(published by on Dec. 31, 2022)

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