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Harry Seymour Earl, Sr.
January 22, 1927 ~ November 7, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Harry Seymour Earl, Sr., age 96, of Mount Vernon, Texas passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, surrounded by his loving family.
Visitation will be on Friday, November 10, 2023, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Sam B. Harvey Funeral Home in Mount Vernon, TX. The Funeral Service will be on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Mount Vernon, TX.
Harry was born on January 22, 1927, in Grand Forks, ND to James Everett and Dora Karine (Arneson) Earl. He was the fifth of six children. He enjoyed growing up on the family farm, which led to his lifelong love of agriculture. After high school graduation, he served in the U.S. Marine Corp. Harry graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Animal Husbandry. While at Iowa State, he was on the livestock team, which notably showed the steer which won International Grand Champion. Harry married Deborah Katherine Funk on March 22, 1951. Upon graduating from Iowa State, they farmed in North Dakota. Subsequently, he became the manager of the Red River Valley Potato Growers Association Research Farm. Harry then moved his family to Irving, TX in 1964 where he began his 25-year career at Frito-Lay as a potato buyer, ultimately being promoted to Director of Potato Purchasing.
Harry was a loving and very involved father in his five children’s lives growing up, including participating and leading 4-H Club, Boy Scouts, Indian Princesses, Wrestling Booster Club and Synchronized Swimming Parents Club.
Upon retirement from Frito-Lay, Harry and Deborah built their home on Lake Cypress Springs in Scroggins, TX. As a Forest Steward and Master Gardener, Harry continued his love of agriculture on his farm. He planted 80 acres of pine trees, while tending his pecan orchard, grafting trees, and maintaining a huge garden. He shared the bounty of his garden with friends and church family. Harry spent hours in his woodworking shop on projects for the church, the community, and his family. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, participating in various committees, and establishing the Deborah Earl Memorial Library. Harry was active in the Stephen Ministry Program at FUMC for many years. As an usher at church, he greeted each and every person in attendance. He provided hundreds of watermelons each summer to the FUMC Lunches of Love program. In the community, he was known for his backyard barbecues, where his brisket drew friends from far and wide.
His beloved wife, Deborah, passed away on February 4, 1996, after 45 wonderful years of marriage.
Harry later married Joanna White and they enjoyed 25 years of travel and ballroom dancing together and continued their active participation at FUMC until her passing on June 13, 2022.
Harry enjoyed cultivating meaningful relationships with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, supporting and challenging them. They share wonderful memories of dancing with him at weddings and at his 90th birthday party and enjoying barbecues, tractor rides, and adventures on the lake.
He is survived by his children, James Earl of Kingwood, TX, Harry Earl, M.D. of Fort Worth, TX, Elizabeth (Robert) Hillery of St. Petersburg, FL, Rebecca (Danny) Watson of Coppell, TX, and Michelle (William) Holloway of Fort Worth, TX. Grandchildren, James Jordan Earl of Kingwood, TX, Deborah (Jordan) Shepard of Kingwood, TX, Adrienne (Matt) Gaziano of Alexandria, VA, Rachel Hillery (Christopher Stumm) of Brooklyn, NY, Mary Beth (Greg) Hargrove of St. Petersburg, FL, Robert Earl Hillery of Brooklyn, NY, Grant (Kristen) Watson of Santa Monica, CA, Trent Watson (Ozben Felek) of Berkeley, CA, Helen Holloway of Charlotte, NC and Ben Holloway of Fort Worth, TX.
The family asks that remembrances be made to the FUMC Mount Vernon – Youth Group or a charity of your choice.