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1927 Earle Kirkbride 2023

Earle Kirkbride

April 21, 1927 — April 13, 2023

Vero Beach


Earle Kirkbride, beloved Dad, Grandpa and friend, died on April 13, 2023, after a long and satisfying life, sometimes adventurous.  He was born in 1927 by lamplight on a dirt road dairy farm in Russell Township, St. Lawrence County, New York.

Earle was educated in one and two-room schools through elementary grades and in the Knox Memorial High School in Russell, New York then at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.  He was briefly in the U.S. Navy as WW II was ending.

With a degree in Chemistry, Earle worked as a management trainee for Jos. E. Seagram’s followed by a stint of mutual fund sales with Investor Diversified Services then American Cast Iron Pipe.  Next came a year with the Better Business Bureau in Los Angeles then a technical writing job at the Naval Ordnance Test Station at China Lake, California that evolved into more than a thirty-year career in U.S. Navy Technical Information.  When he retired from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. he was Head of the Technical Information Division and the first Director of Navy Technical Information and was honored with a Navy Civilian Service Award.

                Earle was married to Norma Jean Cone in 1963.  She predeceased him in 1983.  He is survived by son Tom now an attorney in Atlanta.  He and his wife Jennifer have a son Jason.  Earle’s daughter and her husband Rich live near where Earle spent the last several years at the Indian River Estates in Vero Beach, Florida.

                One of the remarkable periods in Earle’s life began in 1990, when he was 63 years old and started volunteering with the U.S. Forest Service.  His first job was titled “Range Rider”.  For the next several years, he continued to volunteer with the Forest Service:  five summers in Montana, two in Colorado, three in Wyoming, two in Oregon, one in Washington and one in Utah.  Most of these assignments included horseback riding including one when he took his own horse to Wyoming.  He stopped this volunteering when he realized some of the people who he worked with in the summer could have been his grandchildren.  He said that they were treating him with too much deference when he was pretending to be their age.

                Earle was a member of the Fairfax Unitarian Church in Fairfax, Virginia and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach, Florida where he held several congregation positions including President of the Board of Directors for one year.

                Donations may be made in Earle’s memory to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.  A memorial service will be held at 1:00pm at the Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

                Arrangements are entrusted to Haisley Funeral and Cremation Service, Fort Pierce, Florida.


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