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Earl J. McRoberts

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McRoberts, Earl J. 05/17/1922 ~ 05/02/2013 SAN DIEGO -- Earl McRoberts passed away on May 2, 2013, just shy of his 91st birthday. He was born in Eau Galle, Wisconsin, on May 17, 1922, and spent an idyllic youth on the family farm with his parents, Earl L. McRoberts, Minnae Fredricka, and brother Gordon. He was attending University of Wisconsin in Madison when WWII broke out and joined the Marine Corps. He was a charter member of the 4th Marine Division, 23rd Regiment, 1st Battalion, B Company, and went directly into combat on Roi-Namur in the Marshall Islands, then on to the Pacific Theater battles in Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. He was training in Hawaii for the upcoming invasion of Japan in Tokyo Bay when the Enola Gay flew from Tinian and the war came to an end. He earned a Purple Heart while serving his country. After seeing San Diego during combat training at Camp Elliott, he decided it was the place to live and eventually brought his wife, Marjorie Mae Shaw, and their four children out from Wisconsin. Two more children would be born in California. During the fifties, he went to work at KCBQ as a disc jockey with the Hit Paraders, where his stock phrase "Whirl With The Earl" was created. Later he went on the air as a newsman at XTRA, where he helped build the first all-news radio format. He went on to work as a respected newsman in Hollywood at KFWB for a number of years before buying his own radio station in Boise, ID, and establishing Idaho's first all-news format. In later years he proudly served on the San Diego County Grand Jury and ran for local office. His first daughter Melody predeceased him. He is survived by his children Lance McRoberts, Vashti McRoberts, Beth Schmeiser, Kim Derbes, and Cynthia Midlam, and many beloved grandchildren, great- grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends. "Thanks for getting out of the foxhole, dad." A memorial will be held on his 91st birthday, May 17, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. at Miramar National Cemetery. "Oh, Great Spirit, Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes so that when life fades as the faded sunset, my spirit will come to you without shame."

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on May 12, 2013
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