Wilbur Early

1924 - 2012

Wilber “Wib” Early was born Sept. 9, 1924, in Salem, Ind., to Romie and Stella Hopkins Early. He was the 11th child in a family of 12; six boys and six girls. He died Nov. 9, 2012, in Walla Walla at the Washington Odd Fellows Home.

He served with the U.S. Navy during World War II for 3½ years in the South Pacific. After WWII, he returned to Salem, Ind. A short time later, he and Charles Robertson (now resides in Milton Freewater) moved to Walla Walla to seek work in 1946. In 1947, he married Loretta D. McDonald of Milton Freewater. He had three sons, Dennis Ray, Michael Dean and Roger Kent.

He is survived by two brothers, “Bud” and Romie; one sister, Nellie Faye Spaulding all of Salem, Ind.; his three sons; seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Loretta; four brothers; and five sisters.

Wib retired from the Walla Walla Country Club after 32 years as the general manager. He also managed the Yakima Country Club and the Tri-City Country Club for two years each. Wib also partnered with his sons in the food and beverage industry in Walla Walla for eight years. He served on the Washington State Federation of Club Advisory Council for several years as well as the Food Advisory Council at the Washington State Penitentiary. Wib enjoyed golf and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He was an honorary member of the Walla Walla Country Club and a life member of the Walla Walla Elks Lodge #287.

The funeral service will be held on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at 10 a.m. at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA. Memorial contributions may be made to the Disabled American Veterans through the funeral home. There will be a reception/celebration of life for family and friends at the Elks Lodge on Nov. 16, 2012, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.

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