Earl W. Lively, Jr., 80, of Fresno, CA, made his final journey home on May 3, 2021. He was born to Earl W. Lively, Sr. and Maybelle Lively on May 29, 1940 in Lindsay, CA. He made many happy memories growing up among the orange groves in both Lindsay and Strathmore, CA. As a student at Lindsay High School, Earl was very involved in public speaking competitions. In his two years at College of the Sequoias, he was a member of the swim team. Outside of his studies, he also assisted in his father’s house painting business. In 1959, Earl married the love of his life, Karen Allen, to whom he remained married for 62 years until his passing.
Together, they moved to Fresno in 1961 so that Earl could complete his college education at California State University, Fresno. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Arts in 1963, after which he was almost immediately drafted into the U.S. Army.
While attending Fresno State, Earl worked as a cameraman for Channel 47 in Fresno. This experience in broadcasting during college led to what Earl always described as his greatest adventure. He and Karen moved to New York City, where he was stationed in the Army for two years. During this time, Earl worked as a cameraman for the Army Pictorial Center in Long Island City, and Reeves Studio in downtown New York City.
After being honorably discharged from the Army in 1965, Earl and Karen returned to California and he became a teacher at Clovis High School in Clovis, CA. In a career in education that spanned 36 years, Earl taught various subjects, including Speech, Broadcasting, English, and Forensics/Debate. He and Karen spent many weekends taking students to Forensics competitions up and down the state. In his tenure at Clovis High, Earl formed a club with a colleague called the “London-Paris Connection,” and chaperoned groups of high school students on multiple trips to Europe. He retired from Clovis High School in the Fall of 2000.
One of the most important and treasured events of Earl’s life was becoming a father to his daughter, Jennifer, in 1971. He was elated when he became a grandfather with the birth of his grandson, Luke, in 2000. Luke proudly followed his grandfather’s lead into the military in 2018.
Earl was an avid traveler, taking his family to many wonderful locations. He could often be found with a deck of playing cards in hand, practicing and perfecting magic tricks. One of Earl’s favorite pastimes was reading, and he spent many hours enjoying the sunshine outdoors with a good book. He had a fondness for ice cream, and on cruise vacations with his family he could always be found on the Lido deck of the ship at the soft-serve ice cream machine.
Earl was a man of true integrity, and always led by example. In his quiet way, he inspired and made an impact on those he knew and those he encountered. He was fair, kind, and was a mentor and good friend to many. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him.
Earl is survived by his love and best friend, Karen Lively (Allen); daughter, Jennifer Lively (Tom); grandson Luke Valles; brother-in-law Thomas Allen (Patricia); and was “Uncle Earl” to his nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Earl W. Lively, Sr. and Maybelle Lively, and sister Marilyn Burchell (Bill).
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the Webb-Sanders & Smith Funeral Home in Lindsay, CA, burial to follow. Remembrances in Earl’s name may be made to the American Kidney Fund, 11921 Rockville Pike, Suite 300, Rockville, MD 20852.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Earl W. Lively, please visit our floral store.