Chesterton Tribune

Alton A. Earnhart dies at 84

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Alton A. Earnhart, age 84, of Porter, passed away Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at home.

He was born Dec. 29, 1923 in Oregonia, Ohio; the third child of Alvin H. and Rachel Sheehan Earnhart.

In 1961, he married Ellida Ryan, who preceded him in death.

Alton is survived by his daughter Ruth Earnhart, of Porter; a son, Ryan Earnhart, (Christine); a granddaughter Rachel, of Hopewell Jct. N.Y.; a brother, Earl Earnhart, (Janette), of Oregonia, Ohio and long time friend, Dan Smith, of Muncie.

Alton was also preceded in death by a brother, LaMar (Marion) Earnhart, of Xenia, Ohio.

Reared a Methodist, his mother and grandmother Anna Vale Sheehan were part of local Quaker activities.

In 1954 he joined Miami Monthly Quaker Meeting.

He was a 1941-42 scholarship student of Cedarville College; Cedarville, Ohio.

He was a draftee of the U.S. Navy 1944-46 and earned a BS degree in Agriculture from Ohio State University in 1949.

He was employed with Paulding County, Ohio Farm Bureau from 1949-51.

From 1956-58 he attended Wilmington College, Wilmington Ohio, while he was teaching at Carlisle school, in Carlisle, Ohio. He often returned to visit and work on the family farm in Oregonia.

He was a member of Evanston Quaker Meeting in Evanston, Ill., where he served as the Secretary for the Meeting from 1958-60.

He met Ellida (Ryan) on a 1960 Easter peace walk in Chicago. They married in 1961 while Ellida was a University of Chicago Graduate Student.

He worked for Retarded Children’s Aid at Hull House from 1961-62, and with the Association for Merit Employment, Indianapolis, Ind. from 1962-66.

From 1966-85 he was employed at Bethlehem Steel, Chesterton.

Alton and Ellida hosted Quaker meetings in their home. This later became the Duneland Friends Meeting, Valparaiso, Ind.

They also hosted the 1976 Continental Peace Walk.

They were active in the Bailly Alliance, and helped to organize local re-cycling efforts.

Alton was an avid gardener for the past 30 years.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m., May 17 at Barker House, 444 Barker Rd., Michigan City. Memorials may be directed to: The American Friends Service Committee (Peace Building Program), 637 South Dearborn St. Ste. 3, Chicago, IL 60605; Save the Dunes Council 444 Barker Rd., Michigan City, IN 46360 or The VNA Horton Hospice Center, 501 Marquette St., Valparaiso, IN 46383.


Posted 3/27/2008