Ernest L. Pemberton

Ernest L. Pemberton

August 13, 1932 - September 28, 2016

Ernest L. Pemberton

August 13, 1932 - September 28, 2016


Mission Viejo, CA – E. Leon Pemberton, 84, died Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, California following a four-year diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia.

He is survived by his brothers, Tom Pemberton and Joe Pemberton; his son, Scott Pemberton; his son, Rick Pemberton and his expectant wife, Philadelphie Pemberton, and their two children, Caleb Le Sun Pemberton and Richard Reagan Pemberton; as well as many friends and extended family members.

Leon was born and raised in Harrison, Arkansas, the son of Leonard and Opal (Boyd) Pemberton, along with his sister, Yvonne, and two brothers, Tom and Joe.

In his early years, Leon helped work the family ranch. After graduating from Harrison High School in 1950, he served honorably in the United States Air Force and is a Korean War Veteran. He met his wife, Shirley Walker through church and they were married in 1957.

Leon and Shirley moved to Inglewood, California, where Leon worked for Hughes Aircraft and McDonnell Douglas.

Leon and Shirley’s first son, Rick, was born in 1959 and the family moved to Westminster, California. Two more sons were born: Scott in 1963 and Steven in 1966. Tragedy hit in 1968 when little Steven was struck and killed by a motorcyclist. Soon thereafter, the family moved to El Toro, California and settled into South Orange County and started a new business venture in 1969 called: Shaklee.

Leon not only took pride in his Shaklee business, but truly relished the friends he made during his time with Shaklee. He and Shirley worked long hours to build their Shaklee business, Pemberton Enterprises, Inc. Over the next 40 years, their business was the 2nd largest distributor of Shaklee products, achieving the title of Lifetime Presidential Master Coordinators.

As empty nesters, Leon and Shirley built their dream home, a beautiful English country manor set on two acres, in the equestrian neighborhood of Coto de Caza in 1995. For the next 20 years, they enjoyed spending time at this home with family and friends, celebrating Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, along with countless birthdays and family BBQ’s.

Leon and Shirley finally became grandparents on July 4th, 2013 when Caleb Lee Sun Pemberton was born to Rick and Philadelphie. Another grandson, Richard, joined the family in 2014. And, another grandchild is expected in December of this year.

Leon was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia four years ago. Shirley and their sons helped care for Leon during this time, until Shirley’s untimely passing in January of this year. Leon was laid to rest on October 15th in El Toro, California, next to his wife of 58 years.

Even in death we celebrate life, and condolences can be sent to the family online at!/Obituary

Please click on this link to view Leon’s memorial video:

God bless you all.

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4 responses to Ernest L. Pemberton

  1. My name is Kevin Pemberton and Leon is my uncle. Although I never had much time to spend with him but a few times as I was younger. Leon was an inspiration for me as he was so successful for a small community as Self Arkansas. I currently am purchasing my grandpas house, Leonard, built in 1940 that I am certain Leon as a young boy had his hands on each and every board in construction. My grandpa had to be the most incredible craftsman as he built it by hand. The little shack Leon was born in is still standing. I think about the hand dug cistern well next to it for water. Leon and my aunt Eyvone was born in is above a cliff of about 250 ft drop. The most incredible view of the valley and soft flowing creek and the stars at night.
    As a Pemberton we stand on honesty, integrity, and a general concern for people around us, along with a bit of stubbornness. As it reads in proverbs a rightouse man leaves an inheritance for his childrens children, My grand fathers grandfather, my grand father, my dad, and uncle Leon has accomplished and as I am working diligently to follow suit.
    God bless and my few memories of uncle Leon will forever be in my thoughts.

  2. neil says:

    6 files added to the tribute wall

  3. Dear Pemberton Kids, were it not for my recovering broken bones, I would attend your dear dad’s funeral. Was there one
    other man who was more helpful and supportive in the
    growth and success of our young Shaklee business than your
    dad? The answer is easy and obvious: “NO.” His Spiritual strength, energy, integrity, and enthusiasm were so contagious (as was Shirley’s, of course), that his business success (and ours) were assured.
    Jeanne and I treasured the Pembertons friendship that began in the Garden Grove First Baptist Church, and continued as long as health and age allowed. We enjoyed many happy hours of fellowship together in many different venues. Leon inspired and impressed me in many ways as I watched him (and Shirley) build a new business, and at times I felt a paternal pride over their successes – (because had not I sponsored him (them) and helped him get started???) Please forgive my chlldish pride.
    The lifestyle that Bill & Jeanne Hogansons’ Clan enjoy today is due in large part to the friendship and business support Leon and Shirley gave us for so many years – and continues to this very day. For all this, I will always be grateful to the Pembertons, and I will never forget my friend, the man, Leon Pemberton,
    as long as I live.

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