QUENNEVILLE, Earl A. Architect, artist, and engineer Earl A. Quenneville died peacefully at his home in Tampa July 9, 2020 with his soulmate and partner of 42 years, Bobbie O'Brien-Quenneville, at his side. Earl was 92. Earlier that day, Earl visited the nearby Bayshore, where he once again felt the salty sea breeze that shaped so much of life and career. Much of Earl's architectural work focused on the waterfront. He designed the St. Croix By the Sea Hotel and Condominiums in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Howard Johnson Beach Hotel and 440 West Beach Condo in Clearwater, and marinas in Tierra Verdi, Cocoa Beach and Punta Gorda, Fla. Earl also served two decades as ship's architect for the American Victory Ship Museum and Mariner's Memorial in Tampa. Earl was born in Fairview, MA. He and his mother Irene moved frequently, following his father Rene, a career Army officer. Having grown up on military bases, Earl worried about missing the fight in World War II, so he convinced his father to let him join the Navy at age 17. He was still in training in 1945 when the war ended. Earl spent four years as an electrician's mate aboard the USS Nespelen AOG-55 in the North Atlantic, earning the WWII Victory Medal. Earl attended Yale University, earning a bachelor's degree in civil engineering (1953), before he was called back into service by the Navy during the Korean War. He served as Chief Engineer on the USS Tills and was issued the National Defense Service Medal. The GI Bill allowed Earl to return to Yale for a second time, where he earned a bachelor's and master of architecture (1959) under the tutelage of Paul Rudolph, father of the Sarasota School of Design. Influenced by Rudolph, warmer weather and his love of sailing, Earl moved to Tampa joining the architectural firm of design legend Mark Hampton. Earl held professional architectural registrations with the NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards), Florida, Georgia, and the US Virgin Islands. He served as secretary and executive director of the American Institute of Architects, US Virgin Islands Chapter, and won a National Society of American Registered Architects design award in 1980 with architect Ken Purdy. Fiercely competitive, Earl sailed on Harold Balcom's three-man crew that finished second in the North American Sailing Championship Mallory Cup in 1965. In the 1970s, Earl and his architectural partners Gordon Johnson and D.A. Williams competed in IMSA, the International Motor Sports Association. Along with his engineer's logic and architect's sense of structural integrity, Earl had the soul of an artist. At Yale, famous colorist Josef Albers was his art instructor and asked to keep one of Earl's paintings for his personal collection. It was later willed to the permanent collection at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and can be viewed with an appointment. Earl's paintings also graced his annual Christmas cards, which he shared with friends, family, and people he admired. Rosalynn Carter was so moved, she twice wrote to thank Earl for both his artwork and his holiday message. In later years, Earl devoted much of his time to the American Victory Ship. He was part of the original "Shanghai Crew" of volunteers who brought the memorial to Tampa's waterfront more than 20 years ago. He played various roles in the organization that runs the museum, including chairman, though he stopped keeping track of his volunteer time five years ago, when the non-billable hours topped 12,000. In addition to his grateful wife Bobbie, Earl is survived by sons, Kenneth, Marc, and Stephen; grandchildren who gave him much joy, Daniel Goodwin, Genevieve and Ariel Quenneville; and great-grandson, Daegan Goodwin. Earl will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial will be held in Tampa at a later date. Donations in Earl Quenneville's memory can be made to the American Victory Ship Museum, 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602.
Published in Tampa Bay Times from Jul. 26 to Jul. 28, 2020.