James Milton Earll

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

James Milton Earll, a lifelong area resident, passed away on Dec. 31, 2017, at the age of 81, of Asbestosis complications. Born on April 9, 1936, in Nevada, he was one of five children born to Earnest William and Gene Viola (Perry) Earll. At the age of 10, he went to work delivering newspapers and picking strawberries for his Uncle Orville Maxwell to be sold at the Maxwell Grocery Stores.

While attending Nevada High School, he was employed at JC Penney until his graduation in 1954. James and Carl Hendrix enlisted in the U.S. Navy together under the “Buddy Program” and completed his basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. From there, he was assigned to the Brooklyn Navy Shipyard and served aboard several troop transport ships as a Third Class Electrician’s Mate during the Korean Conflict. His ports of call around the world included the Mediterranean, Korea, Japan, Germany and the Panama Canal.

Following his Honorable Discharge, James returned home where he met, courted and married Twila Joy (Arthur) Earll on Dec. 12, 1959, in Miami, Okla., with whom he had six children.

James was accepted as an apprentice in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers through Local No. 95 in Joplin and acquired his Journeyman Inside Wireman certification in 1962 while employed by a local hometown union electrical contractor. He served his union as a loyal brother, a member of the executive board and the apprenticeship committee, and as a highly-respected electrician. His skill set and leadership ability were sought out by many electrical contractors to run their job sites as foreman, general foreman and superintendent throughout Missouri, Kansas and Nevada. His most notable job sites include the Precious Moments Fountain Show, Mirage Hotel Casino, Rio Hotel Casino, Excalibur Hotel Casino, 3M, Nevada State Hospital, and the Nevada Middle School.

In 1994, upon her initiation into the IBEW, James and his daughter, Melissa Joy, became the first father-daughter members of Local No. 95 and she proudly became the third generation of Earlls to work as an electrician. He taught her that an eight-hour day for eight-hour pay was the heart of the solidarity movement, but to his sons, he taught them that paydays were Fridays but weekends were your own. He retired in 1998 at the age of 62 and at the time of his death, had acquired his 55-year IBEW service pin.

James enjoyed watching the Kansas City Chiefs, collecting postcards with his son Michael, duck hunting with his sons, brother-in-laws and father-in-law, playing solitaire, bird watching, annual dinners and holidays with family and friends and casual vacations. He especially looked forward to gathering with other members and their spouses of the NHS Class of 1954 for their First Friday monthly dinners together.

James taught his sons and daughter the tools of his trade and with that knowledge, many new houses were later built for family. Leading by example as he himself had been helped, he taught them how to work with their hands and to be a success in life in their chosen fields. In tandem with Twila, James was actively involved as project leader and scoutmaster in Town & Country 4-H and Boy Scouts. Together, they raised their children by tending to their needs, seeing they never went without and always emphasized personal accountability, loyalty, unselfishness, generosity and dependability.

He was a member of BPOE Elks Lodge No. 564, Osage Lodge No. 303, the Vernon County Democratic Party, Disciples Christian Church, and served on the city of Nevada Electrical Board.

James leaves behind Twila who loved him dearly and was proud to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary; his sons, James Edward “Eddie” Earll and wife Diane of Nevada, Kevin Lynn Earll and wife Roberta, of Shawnee, Kan., Mitchell Scott Earll and wife Carol, of Nevada, Michael Todd Earll and companion Tom Adams, of Falls Church, Va., and Shawn Bradley Earll and wife Connie, of Riverside, Mo.; his daughter, Melissa Joy Earll, of Nevada; a brother, Joseph Earll and wife Mary; mother-in-law, Wanda (Phipps) Arthur; sister-in-laws, Renee (Arthur) Hampton, Rebecca Arthur and Cheryl Arthur; eight grandchildren, including Eric Earll, Matthew Earll, Krista Chrisenberry, Monica Earll, Nichole Butler, Kirk Buck, Kristi Nowak and Ryan Buck; eight great-grandchildren, including Lexi Chrisenberry, Brady Bybee, Iridessa Butler, Kristin Buck, Kobe Buck, Maci Nowak, Mason Nowak and Madison Nowak; and numerous nephews and nieces who regarded him as a father figure and will miss him greatly.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father; sister, Emma Jean (Earll) Branham; brothers, LeRoy Earll and Earnest Earll; his father-in-law James K. Arthur; and his brothers-in-law, Gregory L. Arthur, Terry “TK” Arthur and James P. Arthur.

Funeral services with military honors will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5, at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada with the Rev. Tisha Mundy officiating. The family visitation will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the service. Interment at Ft. Scott National Cemetery No. 1 will be held in April. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested in his memory to Disciples Christian Church of Nevada in care of Ferry Funeral Home.

You may view obituary and send condolences online at www.ferryfuneralhome.com.