Robert James Earley, 83, of Cape Girardeau passed away Tuesday, June 27, 2006, at Chateau Girardeau, where he was a resident.
He was born April 5, 1923, in St. Louis, son of Elmer and Cornelia Schmidt Earley. He and Naomi M. Mauck were married Dec. 18, 1943, in King City, Calif. She preceded him in death Feb. 14, 2005.
Mr. Earley was a 1941 graduate of Kirkwood High School in St. Louis. While attending Missouri University, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in January 1943. He served as a B-17 bomber pilot with the 398th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force in England 1944 through 1945, and attained the rank of captain. He was awarded the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters and his unit received a Presidential Citation. He flew 27 combat missions.
Upon discharge from the Air Force, he returned to Missouri University, graduating in June 1947 with a bachelor of science degree majoring in accounting. He was then employed by the E.A. Rothaus Certified Public Accounting Firm in St. Louis.
In 1948 he and his family moved to Cape Girardeau where he opened an office for the Rothaus firm and became a certified public accountant in 1951, and a full partner of the Rothaus, Bartels and Earley firm in 1953.
In July 1980 he opened the Robert J. Earley and Company CPA firm, retiring Dec. 31, 1988. He was honored by the Missouri Society of CPAs with a "Life Membership" and was a member of both the Missouri Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs.
He was a member of First Presbyterian Church having served as deacon and on various church committees. He held several offices and served on the board of directors of the Cape Girardeau Jaycees. For approximately 15 years he served as Adjutant for the American Legion Louis K. Juden Post 63 and became post commander.
He served as president of the Chamber of Commerce in 1961 as well as two terms on the board of directors. He also served on the original SEMO Port Authority six years, the SEMO District Fair Association and the Cape Girardeau Airport Board 15 years. He was also a member of the board of directors of the Greater Cape Girardeau Development Corp. for three terms.
He was a member of the Lions Club, serving as treasurer, vice president and president, and also as a member of the board of directors. For many years, he served on United Way committees, and for 13 years he was a member of the board of directors of the former Centerre Bank.
He was a former member of the board of directors of the Cape Girardeau Country Club, serving as president in 1975 and was treasurer of the club 18 years. He was a former member of the St. Mark's Blue Lodge, Scottish Rite, York Rite bodies and Shriners.
Survivors include two daughters and sons-in-law, Karen and Larry Dierks of Sun City West, Ariz., Joan and Bill Morgan of Cape Girardeau; a son and daughter-in-law, James and Leigh Earley of O'Fallon, Mo.; seven grandchildren, Gregory Adelson of Tulsa, Okla., Amy Schroeder of St. Louis, Kathy Laucius of Houston, Texas, Kimberly Adelson and Mark Armbruster both of Cape Girardeau, Jennifer Earley of Springfield, Mo., and Ryan Earley of O'Fallon; six stepgrandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a brother, Donald C. Earley of Kirkwood.
Mr. Earley was preceded in death by his wife and parents.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church.
The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Paul Kabo Jr. officiating. Private burial will be in Cape County Memorial Park.
Arrangements are being handled by Morgan Funeral Home in Advance, Mo.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church in Cape Girardeau or Chateau Girardeau Foundation.