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Alumni News: Class Years 1950-1959

Donald Lewis Early, Class of 1958

Wednesday, June 11, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Donald Lewis Early of Columbia, Tennessee passed away on June 1, 2014, at the age of 79. He was born June 15, 1935 in Nashville, Tennessee and was the fourth child of the late William and Winifred Early's five children.

Don was known for his kindness, his integrity, his keen intelligence, his quick wit and above all, devotion to his family.  A graduate of East Nashville High School, Don received his undergraduate degree from
 Belmont College in 1958. He completed his graduate studies at Vanderbilt University with a Master's degree in English and German Literature in 1968.

Don served in the Tennessee Air National Guard for 39 years and retired as Director of Resource Management in 1992 having advanced to the rank of Colonel. In 1958, Don began working at the Baptist Sunday School Board (Lifeway) as a temporary employee. Over the next 40 years, he held many professional and management positions and retired as the Director of Financial and Technical Services.

Don continued a close association with Belmont University and on two occasions was elected "Alumnus of the Year" by the Belmont Alumni Association. In later years, he served as adjunct instructor of communications in Belmont's Massey Graduate School of Business. For many years, Don was owner of Picture World, a popular Franklin, Tenness
ee frame shop and gallery.

In addition to holding membership in various professional organizations, Don worked for the United Way and was a trustee of the Tennessee Baptist Foundation, the National Guard Association of Tennessee Insurance and Trust, and the Belmont Mansion Foundation.

Don is survived by his devoted wife of 48 years, Beverly, and their three beloved daughters and families: Alison and Craig Reed, and children William, Caroline and Owen; Shannon Epley and children Sophia, Eva Claire and Jay; Lauren and Jason Whatley and children, Samuel, Matthew, Mary Grace, Kate and Jane Anne. Don is also survived by his brother, Nelson Early of Hendersonville.

Services were held at Brentwood Baptist Church on June 5. Burial service followed with full military honors at Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on McCrory Lane. Memorials may be made to the East Nashville Alumni Association W.H.O. Scholarship fund, P.O. Box 218043, Nashville, TN 37221.

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