Born in Gloversville, Earl graduated from Lake George Union School and attended St. Lawrence University prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army, in which he served for four years during World War II. He was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant with the Anti-Aircraft Forces in the Pacific theatre.
Along with his brother and father, Wayde operated, for many years, J.R. Earl and Sons at the intersection of Canada St. and McGillis Ave. in Lake George. The business included a hardware store, an electrical contracting business, a gasoline station and a Ford dealership.
While serving as town Supervisor, Earl spearheaded the town's purchase of the old County Courthouse, which was facing the wrecking ball, but is now a beloved monument to local history. During this era, he served for several years as President and Director of the Lake George Historical Association.
Earl was a 64-year member of American Legion Post No. 374 during which time he held many offices. He was proud to have helped build the local Post. Also, he was a founding member of the Lake George Emergency Squad and the Lake George Rotary Club.
Earl belonged to several Masonic orders and had achieved 60 plus years of membership in the Masons.
Earl is survived by his wife of 63 years, Margaret, his two sons, John and Todd Earl, both of Lake George; and two daughters, Nancy Earl of Lake George and Betsy Earl Bogen of Tucson, Ariz. His four grandchildren are John Earl II of Lake George, Hanna Bogen of Portland, Oregon, Julie Bogen of Phoenix, Ariz. and Margaret Earl of Lake George; and a niece, Jorja Halstead, and a nephew, Jay S. Earl of Lake George and their families.
The family has suggested memorial donations be made to any of the organizations to which he belonged or a charity of one's choice.