Retired Air Force Staff Sgt. Edgar Lee Earles, age 78, of Crestview, Fla., formerly of DeFuniak Springs, Fla., passed away in the early morning hours of Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, in North Okaloosa Medical Center. He was born Feb. 22, 1935, in Gretna, Va., the son of Guy Lindsey Earles and Docie Bolling Earles. After graduation from Chatham High School, he attended Roanoke Bible College for three years and then Ed joined the United States Air Force and served until his retirement, the last 10 years of his military service being at Site C-6 in DeFuniak Springs. While in the military he played fast pitch soft ball as catcher and in 1965 was voted All World. After being stationed at Site C-6 Ed and his family liked the area so much they decided to make it their home and from the time he was in the area he involved himself in community and civic activities. He coached little league for 15 years and started the paid umpire program for little league; established and started T-ball and established a SR league. In 1972 and 1974 the Jaycees voted him Man of The Year. In 1977 he was elected to the Board of Directors of Walton County ARC and served 15 years as president of the organization. He went into automobile sales and in 1978, began hosting a radio-thon for Special Needs Citizens for Special Olympics. Also in 1978 he became a private pilot and organized and was the commander of the civil air patrol squadron with over 50 members. He logged over 200 hours in Air Flying and Search and Rescue Missions. From 1976 until 1980 he was General Manager of Radio Station W-GTX-W-QUH in DeFuniak Springs. From 1981 thru 1984 he worked at W-FSH Radio in Niceville, Fla. He served as Worship Leader at Cluster Springs Baptist Church from 1992-1996 also serving New Bethel Baptist Church and New Beginnings Baptist Church since that time. Ed is predeceased by his first wife, Yvonne Earles, who passed away April 14, 2003.
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Among survivors are his wife, LaVern Earles; his son, Tim Earles and wife, Sarah; his daughters, Tricia Meadows and husband, James, and Tammy Earles; his grandchildren, Katie, Tyler and Ryan; his sister, Clarice Heule and husband, Skip; his stepson, Joe Dan Blocker and wife, Joyce; his step-daughter, Donna Grace Proehl; and numerous step-grandchildren and step–great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews also survive.
Floral arrangements are being accepted or memorials may be made in Ed Earles memory to ARC, 1408 North 9th Street, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433. A time of visitation will be from Noon until 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, with the funeral beginning at 1 p.m., in Jerry Evans Chapel with Pastors Raymond Williams, Jason Stokes and Art Dees officiating. Burial will follow with military honors in the Earles Family Plot in Cluster Springs Cemetery. Friends and family may go on line to view obituaries, offer condolences and sign the guest register at jerryevansfuneralhome.com.
Published in Northwest Florida Daily News on Nov. 7, 2013