Norman Williston Earle
1927 - 2020
Norman Williston Earle

Norman Williston Earle (September 7, 1927 - February 20, 2020) was born in Puerto Rico, the son of a doctor and a nurse, the middle child of 5. At the age of 7 his family moved back to Baltimore and then to Mexico for 2 years. The family then moved to Illinois where he finished high school. He then went to the University of Illinois where he graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and then received a Master's and PhD in Entomology.

After completing his education, he moved to Denver and worked for Dow Chemical for 4 years. He then accepted a job in Baton Rouge, LA with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and became the head of the cotton insect research laboratory.

While living in Baton Rouge he got his pilot's license and bought an airplane and traveled to Mexico. He met his wife, Erna, on a beach in Acapulco. After his retirement he attended Louisiana State University and obtained a Master's degree in Social Welfare. After receiving this degree he moved to the mountains in Fairview, NC. He took woodworking classes at Haywood Tech and became an expert woodturner.

He was a founding member of Mountain Housing Opportunity and served a year as their first president. He also was a founding member of Manna Food Bank. He assisted at several schools teaching science at the fourth-grade level. He spent many hours building educational science training aids.

Norm and Erna enjoyed traveling, visiting many countries and hosting people from other countries. He also had many hobbies, such as photography, lapidary, collecting arrowheads, rocks and butterflies. He enjoyed gardening and became a "master gardener".

He was deeply concerned for our future, including climate change, resource depletion, renewable energy, environmental degradation, over-population and income inequality. It was his desire to leave the world a better place for future generations.

He was the son of Dr. Walter C. Earle and Eugene (Williston) Earle. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Erna Randlov Earle. They had two children, Linda Earle Knecht and husband Scott, Norman R. Earle and three surviving grandchildren: Kristen and Lauren Knecht and Brian Earle. He was predeceased by one grandchild, Kevin Earle.

A private celebration of his life will be held at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Manna Food Bank (, Mountain Housing Opportunities ( or

Published by Asheville Citizen-Times from Feb. 26 to Mar. 1, 2020.
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2 Entries
Great scholar and great human being. He was my major professor at LSU. Never heard him complain and never raised his voice. His passion for science is unequaled. God bless hem
Flavio Padovani Padilla
June 2, 2020
i remember your family well even tho it has been many, many years since i've seen you. i am truly sorry for your loss. pegi cairnes, niece of grace and joe niston
pegi Cairnes
March 2, 2020
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