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Earl  W Galbraith
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Obituary for Earl W Galbraith

Earl Wallace Galbraith

Lakeland - Earl Wallace Galbraith was born October 8, 1924 in Menoinee, Michigan to Florence and Wallace Galbraith of rural Crivitz, Wisconsin. He attended a one room elementary country school near his home and Merrill, Wisconsin High School, graduating in 1942. His family was active in 4-H clubs, with special interest in Woodworking, Landscaping, Gardening and Home Repair. In 1941 he won the Wisconsin State Championship of the Edsel Ford Good Drivers League and competed in the National contest in Detroit. His memorabilia of those events are in The Henry Ford Museum archives in Dearborn, Michigan. After attending one year at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he enlisted in the Air Force for training as a single engine fighter pilot. Upon the surrender of Germany his training was changed to B-29 Flight Engineer. The surrender of Japan came simultaneously with completion of that training and he was given the option of another 3year enlistment or Honorable Discharge and return to civilian life, which he chose. The GI Bill enabled him to re-enroll at the University of Wisconsin in the Light Building Industry Curriculum for an additional 4 years of study. He graduated in 1950 with a B.S. degree. His second job after college was in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, establishing and operating a Home Design Department for a large lumber firm. In 1951 he joined the First Presbyterian Church in Sheboygan, where he served as Trustee, Elder, Building Committee, Pastoral Selection and Long-Range Planning Committees. He also sang in the choir and taught Jr. High, Senior High and Adult Sunday School classes. In those years he met the Love of his Life, Char (Charlotte) Gorges, from Readfield, Wisconsin, who was a Kindergarten Teacher in Sheboygan. Both were small in stature, large in laughter, enthusiasm and optimism. They were married June 18, 1955. In 1962 he opened his own Architectural and Interior Design Studio featuring residential, professional office and small business design. In 1969 he was elected by the Milwaukee Presbytery to be one of the Lay Commissioners to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, Texas. He served actively on numerous civic, cultural, community service and career oriented Boards and Committees including 9 years on the Board of Directors of he Rehabilitation Center of Sheboygan and 6 years on the Board of Landmarks Limited of Sheboygan County. He was a member of AWARE, a community Art Awareness Task Force. He also helped work study programs for the High School and Interior Design Intern Program for the University of Wisconsin, and presented Career Days lectures for the County High Schools. They both loved music, art shows, museums, unusual locations and houseboating on the Mississippi. For 20 years as a hobby, he designed and supervised the building of Stage Sets for the local Sweet Adelines Chorus for their annual Fund-Raising Concerts, Char being an active member and quartette singer. He completed the studies and examinations for professional membership in ASID, The American Society of Interior Designers. In 1990, he closed his Studio and both he and Char retired and moved to Lakeland, Florida. Leading up to retirement Earl, Char and their two dear friends of many years, Char and Carl Weaver, had undertaken a 10-year study of places to retire in the US. With strong consensus by all, the many desirable features and beauty of Lakeland, and the safety of the mid-peninsula, in 1989 they purchased side by side lots in the newly opened Villas-By-The-Lake subdivision, contracted for the construction of new homes and moved there in 1990 transferring his church membership to First Presbyterian Church, Lakeland where he served on several Committees and as a long time Greeter. He was active in the transition of the Home Owners Association from the Developer to the Owners and on the Board of Directors. During 1996 to 2004 he was Interior Design Consultant for the Family Life Center Addition at First Presbyterian Church, New Sanctuary construction for St. Paul Lutheran Church and North Lakeland Presbyterian Church. He was the “ROADIE” for Char’s lady’s four-part harmony quartette traveling to many venues for quartette appearances. In 2015 he moved to Florida Presbyterian Homes Independent Living, where the Lord came to take his hand December 3, 2017 at age 93. He was preceded in death June 12, 2012 by his wife Char, his parents Florence and Wallace, and his brother, James. Surviving are his Godson, Paul Weaver of Mequon, Wisconsin and Goddaughter Ann Nickodem of Chapel Hill, North Carolina and their families, and a Special Friend, Diane Fenske of Ann Arbor, MI. Also, a special Great Niece, Jody Rushton of Atlanta, GA and other wonderful relatives and friends. A Memorial Service Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, Florida on January 4, 2017 at 1:30 pm. Interment will be at a later date at Sunrise Gardens Mausoleum, Sheboygan, WI. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Grady Endowment for College Scholarships Fund at First Presbyterian Church, or the Loving Care Fund at Florida Presbyterian Homes, Lakeland, Florida. His abiding prayer was for God’s Love, Hope and Joy for his relatives, friends and all the people of the world, and for a world of peace. Condolences may be sent to the family at

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1:30 PM
First Presbyterian Church

175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801


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