Donald “Don” Francis Earley, age 89, passed away on Thursday August 13, 2020 at home in West Chicago. He was born on March 23, 1931 in Chicago, IL to the late Francis Claussen Earley and Isabella Marie McDonald Earley. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his first wife, Nancy Elaine Stitils, his sister, Phyllis Goodman and by his niece, Linda Goodman.
Don is loving remembered by wife, Marilyn (Karp Voelz), and eight children, John (Cheryl) Voelz, Donald (Cindy) Voelz, Thomas (Cindy) Voelz, James Earley, Donna Earley Fromm, Ronald (Terri) Voelz, Ellen Altier and Carol (Rob) Hassels. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Don graduated from St. Mel’s High School in Chicago. After high school, he was drafted into the Army and served his country during the Korean War. Upon returning from Korea, he attended Elmhurst College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and later earned a Master of Science degree in mathematics from Northern Illinois and a Master of Arts degree in mathematics from DePaul University.
He pursued a career in teaching high school and college mathematics. He retired from the St. Charles School District 303 and Northern Illinois University, but also taught at the College of DuPage and Waubonsee College. He also worked at Fermi Lab as a mathematician.
Don devoted much time to the West Chicago community. He was West Chicago city treasurer for 12 years, Alderman of the 3rd ward for 12 years, organizer of, “4 the People,” Park Commissioner and first President of the Park Board. Easton Park was renamed in October 2019 as “The Don Earley Park” in his honor. Don also volunteered at the West Chicago Food Bank, was active in the American Legion Post 300, Lion’s Club and Knights of Columbus Council 1555.
Don will be profoundly missed by not only his family, but also his neighbors and the community that he loved.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, August 16, 2020 from 3 to 8 p.m. at Norris-Segert Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 132 Fremont St. (one block north of Washington St. and Main), West Chicago. A funeral Mass will be held on Monday, August 17, 2020 at St. Mary’s Church, 164 N. Oakwood Ave., West Chicago at 10:00 am. (Please register on St. Mary’s website) http://www.eventbrite.com/e/mass-for-the-soul-of-don-earley-registration-117058313567 Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery in West Chicago. (Anyone attending the visitation is required to wear a facemask inside the funeral home as per state guidelines).
Contributions may be made in Don’s memory to the West Chicago Food Bank or VITAS Healthcare, Lombard, IL. For Info (630) 231-0060 or www.norrissegertfh.com.
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