FALMOUTH — Gilbert “Buddy” Earle, 64, of Falmouth, died Feb. 21 of complications from a heart attack and diabetes.
Earle was born April 2, 1948 in Rockville Centre, N.Y., to Gilbert Earle Sr. and Ethel Rose Earle. His father died when Earle was young and the family eventually settled in Falmouth when he was 10.
Earle graduated from Falmouth High School in 1966 and attended Colby College, graduating with a degree in psychology. He worked for a year as a teacher in Waterville before getting a job at Cape Elizabeth Middle School, where he worked for the rest of his career.
Earle thrived working with middle schoolers.
“He had a way about him that was great for young people,” said Peter Earle, his son. “He really helped that age group grow as people. It’s a key time, a tough time, but he had an uncanny way of making them feel good and bringing out the best in people.”
It was at Cape Elizabeth Middle School that he met his wife, Kathy. They were married in 1976.
In 1996 the family went to Auckland, New Zealand, where Earle and his wife spent yearlong sabbatical teaching.
For Earle, family was everything.
“He was the consummate family man,” said Peter Earle. “He was endlessly proud of allof us.”
His son said it has been difficult balancing Earle’s modesty with the tremendous impact he had on those around him.
“For him, it wasn’t about accolades, he wanted as little fanfare as possible,” he said. “It’s been hard because he touched so many people. He was beloved to everybody, whether they knew him well or were perfect strangers.”
Earle retired from teaching in 2007 after 36 years at Cape Elizabeth Middle School. He spent his retirement doing the things he loved, like going on fishing trips with friends, attending basketball games and going to the family camp in Raymond.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy Earle; his daughter, Gretchen, and her husband, Sean McCloy; his son, Peter Earle, and Emily Burney; his sister, Linda, and her husband, Art Roscoe; parents-in-law Roger and Shirley Hanson, numerous wonderful nieces, cousins and special extended family and friends around the world.
A remembrance gathering will be held Saturday, March 2 at the Ocean Gateway on the Maine State Pier in Portland.Visiting and mingling will be from 10-11 a.m., with a program at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or to the Buddy Earle Scholarship Fund at Cape Elizabeth High School.
The family has created a memorial website, www.everybodylovesomebuddy.com, where people may leave memories and condolences.