Published in the Interest of the Staunton Community for Over 143 Years


Lucille D. Early, 96, of Middletown, N.J., formerly of Mt. Olive, Ill., died on Feb. 23, 2022, She was born on Jan. 23, 1926, in Mt. Olive, the daughter of Charles and Luella (Lich) Franke. She was married to Joseph J. Early in 1948 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Mt. Olive. They had celebrated over 70 years of marriage before he preceded her in death.

Lucille grew up in Mt. Olive where she attended Immanuel Lutheran Grade School and graduated from Mt. Olive Community High School. She was proficient at math and worked in St. Louis for several years before meeting and marrying Joe. They lived in St. Louis for a short time before moving to Glen Carbon where her father, Charles Franke, a carpenter, had built a home for them. She was a homemaker dedicated to her family yet also active in organizations at Trinity Lutheran School and Church in Edwardsville. She and Joe later attended and were active in St. James Lutheran Church in Glen Carbon. They later moved to Middletown, N.J., to be near family.

Survivors include a daughter, Janet Early and her husband Robert Shindel of Middletown, N.J.; two sons, Loren Early of Middletown, N.J., and Larry Early of West DesMoines, Iowa; grandchildren, William Shindel of Chapel Hill, N.C., Breton Shindel of Long Island City, N.Y., Connor Early of Dallas, Texas, and Courtney Early of Des Moines, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews. Lucille was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Joseph Early; son, James Early; and sister, Norine McCabe.

A graveside service for immediate family was held at Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery in Mt. Olive.

Memorials may be made to St. James Lutheran Church in Glen Carbon. Condolences may be left online at Becker and Son Funeral Home in Mt. Olive was in charge of arrangements.

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