On September 3, 2013 Earl was gracefully rewoven into the cosmic fabric of the universe. Born in his Ballard Beach home, to Fred & Lucy Cole, the 1st of 2 on a chilly October 10th, 1929--he was placed in the warm oven for safe keeping as his surprise twin sis was pulled into the world behind him. As children they were the youngest of 5 & ran around Seattle barefoot, curious & happily unsupervised. Always looking for work on the water, Earl spent plenty of time down on Puget Sound. At age 14 he fudged his birth certificate & joined the Merchant Marines. He quickly found himself on a ship in the South Pacific; serving in the tail end of WWII. He was a Seamen from that point on. A Mariner ever after. He eventually returned to college to finish his education and by 1971 had earned a license as Master of Ocean Going Towing Vessels. He continued his shipping career until retirement in areas from New Orleans to the Arctic Circle. Highlights of that time include: 1950-54: when he worked for the US Coast Guard & Geodetic Survey engaged in hydrography in Alaskan waters. Also 1954-56: when he served in the army operating various transportation Corp. harbor craft on the Eastern seaboard. He met the love of his life; Marlene Rae Beeman in Lynnwood & married her Aug. 20th 1966. They moved to Lummi Island in the 70's & built a fulfilling life together. He lost his sweet wife in 1998 & began traveling extensively. Earl loved being 'on the road again' & spent his time fishing, hot tubbing, RVing, playing the harmonica, driving across countries & meeting other like minded folk. In his later years he lived in Bellingham while wintering in Palm Springs & the Baja. Earl maintained a positive, juz-be-cuz, kind of attitude. He was always a strong, handsome charmer. Earl was compassionate, fair & logical. He liked animals & was an affectionate pet owner. He enjoyed cowboy music, good cooking & cold beers. Earl was loved & he will be missed; his smile, his smarts, his class. His energy lives through us & will never be forgotten. He is preceded in death by his beloved Marlene Rae & his family that came before him. He is survived by his twin sister Earline Byers of Des Moines, his children & his many grandchildren. Earl lived an epic life during an unequalled time in human history! A remembrance gathering will be held for Earl @the Bellingham VFW on Sun. Sept. 22nd, 1-4pm. Sea stories welcome!
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Published in Bellingham Herald on Sept. 20, 2013