Joseph Early

1923 - 2021

Middletown, NJ


Joseph J. Early


February 7, 1923 – April 8, 2021


Joseph J. Early, age 98 passed away on April 8, 2021 in Middletown, NJ where he lived with his wife, Lucille D. Early. The couple were formerly of Glen Carbon, Il.


He was born on February 7, 1923 in New Douglas, IL and was the son of John Justi and Ethel Clara (Rule) Early.

He was married to Lucille D. Early in 1948 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Mt. Olive, Il. They had celebrated over 70 years of marriage.


Joseph attended grammar school in a one-room schoolhouse on his father’s farm and then graduated from Livingston Community High School. He worked at Robinson Aircraft Corp. in St. Louis, Mo. until he was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1944 in WWII. He served as a Corporal with Company I 157th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 45th Division and saw the “Fight at Reipertswiller” where his company was captured and held prisoner until liberation.


He worked at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft as a machinist and fabrication foreman and retired in 1984. He was a “tinkerer” and spent many trips travelling to help his children with building projects. He also was a member St. James Lutheran Church, Glen Carbon, Il. where he could “tinker” when not travelling.


Survivors include:

Daughter Janet Early and her husband Robert Shindel of Middletown, NJ.

Two sons: Loren Early also in Middletown, NJ and Larry Early of West DesMoines, IA.

Grandchildren: William Shindel of Durham, NC; Breton Shindel of Brooklyn, NY; Connor Early of Dallas, TX and Courtney Early of Minneapolis, MN.

Many nieces and nephews


Joe was preceded in death by his Parents: Justi and Ethel Early; his son James Early;

His two sisters: Audrey Birchall and Ruth Flannigan;

Four brothers: Leonard, Herbert, James and David Early.


Buriel will be at the Immanuel Lutheran Church cemetery in Mt. Olive, Il. A memorial is planned for a later date in 2021.

Memorial contributions in memory of Joseph Early can be made to:

American Ex-Prisoners of War

PO Box 3445

Arlington, Texas 76007-3445

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Becker & Son Funeral Home

221 S Poplar St, Mt. Olive, IL

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Bill & Tammy Reyman

April 21, 2021 2:28 PM

Loren and family, so sorry to hear of your dads passing, he lived life well and accomplished lots throughout his lifetime. He will walk beside you everyday, unseen, unheard and always near. Special thoughts & prayers sent your way.

Judith Flannigan

April 19, 2021 12:22 PM
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Prayers for all the family for comfort and peace during this difficult time.  Through God's love by way of Christ, we will be together again in our Heavenly Home.  

A Memorial Tree was planted for Joseph Early

April 16, 2021 9:49 AM
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