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Richard Lewis Earls

April 26, 1931 - November 21, 2020

Richard Lewis Earls, age 89, died at his home in Gloucester, VA on Saturday, Nov. 21. He was surrounded by family.

Born in Sugar Creek Camp, in Harlan County, KY to Jennie Cole Earls and Fount Earls on April 26, 1931, Richard was preceded in death by: his beloved wife of 53 years, Rose Marie Tayon Earls; his parents; half-brother Martin Browning; sisters Mary Ray and Relda Shephard and brother Leonard Wayne Earls.

He retired as a groundskeeper from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and retired with full benefits from the US Army as a Sergeant First Class. He served two combat tours in North Korea as part of the UN Peacekeeping Forces in the 1950s where he earned the Combat Infantry Badge and two tours in Vietnam in the First Cavalry Division where he was awarded the Bronze Star. A self-published author, Richard wrote the Grapevine Hole, an historical novel set in Norfolk in Colonial Days.

He is survived by his four children: Patricia Ann Earls Neleski, and husband Edward Michael Neleski; Ann Marie Earls Ritger and husband Marcus Ritger; Robert Lewis Earls and wife Katherine Earls; and Karen Jean Earls and husband Yaw Agyei Tutu; six grandchildren: Jennifer Wanda Barber and husband Michael Barber; January Evelyn Wells and husband Giles Wells; Elizabeth Rose Neleski, Emily Katherine Earls, Oliver Michael Neleski and Alex Cole Earls; and two great-grandchildren: Nixon Eli Smith and Hadley Giles Wells. Richard is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews.

There will be a private graveside funeral on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. In lieu of flowers, the family members request donations in Richard’s name to the Gloucester Volunteer Fire Department, Gloucester County, VA.

In Lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Gloucester Volunteer Fire Department.

Altmeyer-Denbigh Chapel, is assisting with arrangements.

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In my opinion, there is no better facility in Virginia than Altmeyer Funeral Homes. Not only was Chris Sisler there to hold my hand every step of the way, his family members were holding the door on the day of the funeral to help and encourage me. I will never forget their grace. He led me and my family through the process as a personal friend and neighbor, and as the ultimate professional.

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