On Friday, April 19, 2019, Robert (Bob) Fred Earls went to be with the Lord after a 4½ year struggle with pancreatic cancer. Bob was born in Coos Bay, Ore., on July 9, 1945, to Fred Eugene and Bessie Jean (Campbell) Earls of Winchester Bay, Ore.
Bob grew up in Winchester Bay and attended Reedsport schools. After his Sophomore year, the family moved to Astoria, Ore., and Bob graduated from Astoria High in 1963.
Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy immediately following graduation and served in the Atlantic Fleet as a Radioman on the USS Fremont (APA-44) until his separation in August 1966.
He then moved back to Warrenton, Ore., and went to work for Bioproducts, Inc. He met Bonnie Jean Way, who was a senior at Warrenton High, and, after their “Summer of Love,” they were married in Warrenton on New Years Eve, 1967.
Later they moved to the Scappoose-St. Helens, Wash., area and Bob worked for Esco Corp steel foundry in Portland, Ore., for 3 years.
In 1972 he reenlisted in the Navy and he and Bonnie moved to Coronado, Calif. Bob served on the USS Constellation (CVA-64) and is a proud Blue Water Vietnam Veteran. In 1974 he was transferred to the USS Manley (DD-940), a destroyer homeported in Athens, Greece. They were only there for a year and a half before the Greek government requested the U.S. Navy presence there be terminated. The ship moved to the Naval shipyard in Philadelphia, Penn.
While living in Philadelphia, their son Michael Robert was born in the U.S. Navy Hospital. Soon after that, they were transferred to the Naval Communication Station in Stockton, Calif. While in Stockton, their daughter, Renate Jean, was born.
While deciding whether or not to remain in the Navy, he was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency as a Communications Officer. So in March of 1978, Bob was discharged from the Navy with nearly nine years of service.
For the next 22-plus years, the family traveled and lived in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Central America, and Africa.
In March 2001, Bob retired from the Agency after nearly 31 years of Government service that took them to nearly half of the countries in the world. Bob and Bonnie bought property in The Dalles, and got settled in. But Bob went back to work for the Agency as a contractor soon after 9/11.
After a few years, he returned to The Dalles. During retirement, Bob joined the Mid-Columbia Car Club and his bright yellow 1955 Ford pickup was involved in nearly every parade and car show in the area. Bob also joined the Patriot Guard Riders and tried to be present for every mission in the area, and a few farther away. Bob also joined the Fort Dalles Floozies and Friends and had a great time dressing up as Prospector Bob and participating in Floozie events, such as greeting the cruise ships. He had a great time with all of the above groups and made some wonderful friends.
Bob was an avid woodworker and woodcarver. He also enjoyed scale model building, drawing, painting and reading.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents; three older brothers; and two nieces (nearly all from some form of cancer.)
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Bonnie; his children Michael Earls of Grafenwoerh, Germany and Renate Rogers of The Dalles; and granddaughters Gabrielle Earls, Sofia Rogers, and Evelyn Rogers.
We would like to thank our amazing family doctor (since retired), Dr. Charles Miller. By running “just one more test,” he diagnosed the cancer fairly early on.
Thanks also go to Dr. Brett Sheppard of OHSU and his wonderful surgical team. In fact, in our eyes, the Oncology Department at OHSU is truly an extension of God's glorious hands!
The great staffs of the various departments of MCMC were also very instrumental in Bob's treatment.
Please join us on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the Earls family home as we honor Bob with a traditional ceremony including Full Military Honors, followed by a Celebration of Life reception.
For information and directions, please call 541-296-0081.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the OHSU Foundation to support the Brenden-Colson Center for Pancreatic Cancer. Checks may be mailed to 1121 SW Salmon Street #100, Portland, Oregon 97205.