It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Gene Earl. He was one of the 600 veterans of World War II, and part of the "Great Generation", that we are losing daily. Gene was a proud naval veteran of WWII on the USS Tangier. He was also very proud of the fact that he served in the same war as his father, a US Navy officer during the same time period.
Born in Florida in 1924 to a Naval family, they lived in Virginia, Minnesota and finally moved to San Diego, California where Gene attended Hoover High School. Upon graduation, Gene begged his father to allow him to join the army. His father insisted he join the Navy instead. Gene believed that decision helped to save his life. Gene returned home from the war, met his first wife Mary, and together they had three children Michael, Kathy and Len. During this period he worked for the Caliente Race Track and later the San Diego Tribune, where he began his journalism career. He later moved his family from San Diego to Los Angeles County and was proud of his accomplishments as the Sports Editor of the Progress Bulletin.
He was also quite proud to mentor two good friends and protégés, Jerry Miles (NFL) and Fred Clair (VP of the LA Dodgers), while in their early years as they went on to have extremely successful careers in sports. Gene was pleased to find that he had been mentioned in the book "Dodger Blue" written by Mr. Clair. Gene was also known as "the Old Timer" for some years as he got on the Internet and communicated with sports enthusiasts of all ages that were interested in the University of Minnesota.
Besides his employment a the Progress Bulletin, he worked at the LA Times as a City editor for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and later returned to a small town paper in Ontario, California, the Daily Report. He remained there until his retirement around 1991.
Gene Earl met and married Dorene Riggs in 1970 and added three children to his family; Nancy, Kristi and Chuck (the later two predeceased him.) Gene is survived by his wife of over 40 years. While living in the same home for many years, he was able to enjoy his room that he set aside for all of his World War II memorabilia and traces of his hobby of growing prize winning roses. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved the University of Minnesota Gophers his entire life. He had great pride in all of his children.
He also leaves behind a sister and brother, Delores Smith and Robert Earl. Grandchildren; Chris, Gia, Greg, Diane, Aly, Dereick, Andrea and Levi will also miss him, as well as son-in-laws Guy and Bob and daughter-in-law Lenda Earl.
All that knew and loved him will keep him in their hearts always. When we see old reruns of Jonathan Winters, Johnny Carson or even old war movies, we will know that we were blessed to have known and loved him.