July 10, 1923 - March 10, 2019
Born 10 July 1923 in Long Beach, Calif. Earle attended all his schooling in Long Beach, graduating from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in June 1941. He enlisted in the United States Navy in September 1942 and attained the rate of Master Chief Precision Instrumentman (PICM). While back in the states on leave, Earle met his wife Delores Mae Otto. They were married on November 4th, 1956 and stayed married for 59+ years until Delores’s passing January 11th 2016. Earle’s first tour of shore duty was here in Bremerton from 1957-59 where both of their children, Lori Ann (Brooks) and Ronald Duane Sears were born. Following 30 years in the Navy, he decided to retire When he asked his wife Delores where, she replied “I want to go back to Bremerton” and Earle was more than happy to oblige. They returned to Bremerton in January1970, and settled down in Port Orchard where he resided until his passing on March 10th 2019. He was honorably discharged from the Navy on February 1st 1972 in Bremerton, WA. He followed his Navy career with more service to the government, going to work at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard where he ended his government service as the Shop 67 Gauge Section Foreman on May 30th, 1986. You cannot talk about Earle without talking bowling. He was what you might call an avid bowler. There were times in his bowling career that he bowled seven days a week. He first started bowling in military leagues while stationed in Japan (1950-54). Little did he know that he would never give up the game from then on. When he moved to Bremerton the first time in 1957, he bowled at Bay Bowl and PSNS lanes. A transfer to a destroyer tender in Newport, Rhode Island was their next stop where he bowled a travel league throughout the state. Earle was also selected to bowl on the USS Yosemite’s ships team than won the Cruiser-Destroyer Force championships two years in as row. He bowled in the Rhode Island State Tournament for four years and in 1963 he and his partner won the State doubles championships. Earle was the secretary-treasurer of the ship’s league for the four years in Rhode Island. It was hard to leave his bowling buddies in Rhode Island but in the life of a career Navy man, moving is part of the job. In late 1963 he received orders to Great Lakes, Illinois. One of the great things he has loved about the sport of bowling is that even when you move to a new area, you can always make new team mates and new friends. He did this in the military leagues at the Naval Training Station. When his duty was complete at Great Lakes, he was transferred to the USS Hector AR-7 which happened to be home ported back in his home town of Long Beach, California. Unfortunately, the ship did not have a bowling team but he kept in practice by bowling against his father-in law Henry Otto who was an avid bowler himself. Henry had a 297 game against Earle in Rhode Island during a visit to them. It would be years before Earle could top that game. When Earle and his family moved back to Bremerton in 1970, he immediately got back into bowling several leagues at Westpark Lanes and Hi-Joy Bowl. He got a team together to bowl the Tavern league on Friday nights at Westpark Lanes representing the White Pig Tavern. The team won the league championships five years in a row and retired the large perpetual trophy which became the property of the White Pig Tavern much to the delight of owner Don VanRuth. Earle served as secretary-treasurer of the Eagles League at Hi-Joy Bowl for several years until it gradually faded away. Always one to want to help out, he submitted his application and was elected to the Kitsap County Bowling Association board of directors in 1984. He had hardly gotten his feet wet when then Secretary-Treasurer John Randall suddenly became ill and was forced to resign. Since Earle had recently entered his second retirement, he offered to give it a try until someone more qualified could be found. The rest as they say “is history”. He was the Secretary Treasurer/Association Manager until the county merged the Men, Women and Youth associations in 2017. At the age of 94 he felt it was time for new blood to take over so he stepped aside. In 1991, Earle was elected to the Kitsap County Bowling Association’s Hall of Fame and in 2010 he was elected in to the Kitsap County Sports Hall of Fame. In 1994 he replaced Morrie Dawkins as the Kitsap County representative on the Washington State Association board of directors and served until the State Men and Women merged. He was elected Washington State President in 1996 and was awarded a lifetime membership in ABC-USBC for his services. He bowled in 24 consecutive ABC-USBC National tournaments with a 175-composite average. He also annually bowled the Eagles, NIBC, Washington State, and Washington State Seniors tournaments. He also bowled in the Senior Mixed tournament up until 2009 when Delores retired from bowling. After 68+ years of bowling, Earle had not yet rolled a 300 game or an 800 series, but it is not from lack of effort. Well into his 70’s Earle was still competing in four leagues a week. When he turned 80, he decided to it might be time to cut back to three a week. At the youthful age of 94 he still competed in two a week. At 95, he had to cut back to just one league. This past November health issues kept him from competing any longer in the sport he truly loved. Over the years, Earle had averages as high as 208. His highest game ever of 298 was shot on 3/30/2001 in a senior league at PSNS Lanes, and his highest series of 792 came while winning the Eagles Tournament Singles Event title in Coeur De Alene, Idaho. He is survived by his dog Chewy, daughter Lori Brooks and her husband Larry Brooks, his son Ron Sears and his wife NormaJean Sears, Grandchildren Melissa Duncan, Holly Brooks, Joshua Sears and Jeremy Sears, Great Grandchildren Madison Duncan, Riley Duncan and Deanna Dorsey (Brooks), and last but not least his many friends from the bowling community. He will be missed by all. The Celebration of Life is scheduled for Friday April 26th from 1 PM to 4 PM at Hi-Joy Bowl in Port Orchard.
Born 10 July 1923 in Long Beach, Calif. Earle attended all his schooling in Long Beach, graduating from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in June 1941. He enlisted in the United States Navy in September 1942 and attained the rate of Master... View Obituary & Service Information
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