Earl Richard Lightner, 91, of Tipton, died peacefully in the home of his daughter and family early Wednesday, August 9, 2017 from complications of lung cancer. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 10:30 am, Cedar Street Baptist Church, Tipton, with Pastor Brian Wilkins officiating. A time of food and fellowship will be held at the church following the services. The Earl Lightner Memorial Fund has been established in his memory. Online condolences may be shared at www.fryfuneralhome.com.
Earl was born on May 20, 1926 in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Earl Edward and Rosean McDonald (Graham) Lightner. Earl was united in marriage to Grace Viola Sanders on July 25, 1946 in Cumberland, Maryland. Earl enlisted in the United States Navy during WWII and served as a Motor Machinist Mate, 3rd Class. After being Honorably discharged from the Navy, Earl worked as a Brakeman for the U.R.R in East Pittsburgh, Pa., as a service repairman at R & J Appliance in Vestal, NY and as a Boiler Tender for Endicott Johnson Corporation in Endicott NY. After their retirement Earl and Grace moved to Bull Shoals, Arkansas. They were avid members of the First Baptist Church of Bull Shoals and Earl served as a Deacon for several years. In 2014 they moved to Tipton to live out their later years in the home of their daughter, Patti (Henry) Husemann. Earl and Grace became members of the Cedar Street Baptist Church, Tipton; which they called their new 'church home'. He was also a member of the American Legion. In the final months of Grace's life, Earl was admired for his daily visits and undying love while she was at Cedar Manor Nursing Home. After her death, Earl enjoyed socializing with church members at the Tipton Family Restaurant on Wednesdays, waffle breakfast at the Tipton Senior Citizens Park on Thursdays, his cup of decaf coffee at Hardee's in the afternoons and occasional pie and coffee at the Tipton Assisted Living Center. When Earl was diagnosed with lung cancer in mid-June, he opted to receive immunotherapy and radiation so he could 'have a little more time to get to know his first great grandchild Vivienne in hopes that she would remember him'.
Earl is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Patricia (Henry) Husemann of Tipton; adopted children, Debbie (Rick) Woods of Flippin, Arkansas and Ronald Stoner of Bull Shoals, Arkansas; grandchildren, Robert Jr, Dustin, Violet (Drew) Mullen, Bridger, Elizabeth and Emmarie Husemann; and his first great grandchild Vivienne Mullen. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Rosean McDonald (Graham) LIghtner; wife, Grace Viola (Sanders) Lightner; son, Richard Paul Lightner; sisters, Marion G. Reffner, Elizabeth G. Lovis, Rosella G. Stanks, Mattie G. Lightner; and brother, Albert B. Lightner.
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