CAPT Earl Lee DeWispelaere (Ret.)
November 13, 1930 - July 17, 2019
CAPT Earl Lee DeWispelaere, USN, Ret. died on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at Carolina Meadows CCRC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina at the age of 88.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, the former Shirley Ann Fritz, his son E. L. "Skip" DeWispelaere (Donna) of Louisville, KY, his daughter LeeAnne Whitworth (Don) of Wendell, NC, grandchildren Tim (Karin), Melanie (Kevin), Dan (Cory), Hunter, Nick (Kelly), Kelsey, Anna (Sam), Jarrett, Peter, and 6.5 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son LCDR Dan DeWispelaere (Marilyn). Earl was born, raised, and graduated valedictorian from high school in Marion, NY. He attended Yale University as a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) student and was commissioned as Ensign, USN upon graduation in June 1952.
During his naval career, CAPT DeWispelaere graduated from the U.S. Navy Submarine School, U.S. Naval Intelligence School, Armed Forces Staff College, Defense Attaché School and the Foreign Service Language School.
CAPT DeWispelaere served aboard a number of ships, including USS BEXAR (APA-237), USS SEA DOG (AGSS-401), USS POMPON (SSR-267), USS BAYA (AGSS-318), and USS POMODON (SS-486) as Executive Officer, and commanded USS TIRU (SS-416) Feb. 10, 1965-Jan. 9, 1967. He also served on the staff of the Office of Naval Intelligence (Head, Soviet Navy Unit); the Commander, Submarine Flotilla ONE (Assistant Operations and Plans Officer); the Commander Submarine Forces Pacific (Force Intelligence Officer); the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Special Programs Office/Project Officer) and the Naval Intelligence Support Center (Head, Undersea Technology Department). From June 1976 to August 1979, he was Defense and Naval Attaché in the American Embassy Oslo, Norway.
Upon return from Norway, CAPT DeWispelaere was assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence where he was "double-hatted" as the Assistant for Interagency Coordination (0-009K) and as the Head of Security Policy division (OP-009D). He was also assigned ("triple-hatted") as the Head of the Security Department of the Naval Intelligence Command. On July 1, 1981, Captain DeWispelaere assumed duties as the Assistant for Special Programs (OP-090J) in the office of the Director, Navy Program Planning, where he remained (through three OPNAV reorganizations) until his final retirement after 46 years of service August 27, 1998.
CAPT DeWispelaere's medals include the Legion of Merit (with gold star in lieu of second award), the National Defense Service Medal (with three bronze stars), the Korean and United Nations Service Medals, the Navy Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy and Defense Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the Department of Navy Civilian Distinguished Service Medal. He also was awarded the Norwegian Order of Saint Olav, Degree of Commander, for his service as Defense and Naval Attaché.
CAPT DeWispelaere's family would like to express their deepest heartfelt gratitude for the excellent care and attention he received at Carolina Meadows. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Dolphin Scholarship Fund http://dolphinscholarship.org/
or the Gift & Remembrance Fund at Carolina Meadows. A Memorial Service is planned for Saturday, August 10 at 2:00 in the Auditorium at Carolina Meadows, 100 Carolina Meadows Chapel Hill, NC. Internment date at Arlington National Cemetery has yet to be determined.
Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill is honored to serve the family of Captain DeWispelaere. www.walkersfuneralservice.com