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A memorial service for Earl George Hempstead, 86, of Coos Bay, will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 20 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2175 Newmark Ave., in Coos Bay, with Pastor Tom Nickels officiating. A reception will follow the service.
Earl was born Jan. 11, 1933 in Portland, the first of two children born to Earl Hempstead Sr. and Lydia Hempstead. Earl was a lifelong resident of Coos County. He was well known on the South Coast for his expansive commercial and residential land development and lifelong commitment to philanthropy both locally and internationally.
Earl was well known as a coveted business man, even in his early years, filled with energy and ambition. In 1965 Earl was heading a large road project on Broadway Avenue in North Bend. It was there that Earl came to know his future wife, Beverly. Earl took notice of a beautiful, vibrant young women, who lived on Broadway with a 1965 Ford in the driveway. As with all things in his life, Earl saw an opportunity and pursued it with everything he had. Earl pleaded interest in purchasing Bev’s '56 Ford and was able to obtain her phone number in the process. Earl married Beverly Ann Martel May 9, 1967. Bev and Earl celebrated 51 beautiful years of marriage, 52 years this May. Bev was truly the love of Earl’s life and he loved her deeply and in kindness throughout his life.
When Earl and Bev married, they moved to Chester Street in North Bend. In 1978 Bev and Earl built their first home on Hamilton Street in North Bend. Eventually building their home in Englewood in 1993.
Earl and Bev began their lifelong love of travel early in their marriage. They frequently visited the beaches and pyramids of Mexico, traveled to national parks in the U.S. and Canada, and spent time in India growing and building the local communities. They developed lifelong friendships around the world sharing their love for God and the Christian word.
From an early age, Earl was fascinated by cars. He was passionate about the new models as they came out each year. His passion grew into a hobby and for 20 years Earl and Bev were members of The Ford Club, participating in car shows all throughout the Pacific Northwest. Earl loved driving his stunning purple ’49 Ford convertible adorned with a mural and the words “The Duke of Earl” underneath the hood.
Earl also loved to spend time in the vast garden and greenhouse at his and Bev’s home in Englewood. For a lifetime of summers, Earl and Bev grew love and friendship in their beautiful garden, surrounded by rows of vegetables, banana trees, tomatoes, raspberries, and more.
His other favorite hobbies were camping and water skiing at Loon Lake, traveling the rivers of Arizona, salmon fishing in the Pacific Ocean, Sunday breakfast at the Stock Pot, and running his businesses every day.
Earl had a very kind heart and he believed in giving every person an opportunity to succeed, regardless of their circumstances. Earl believed through hard work and perseverance all things can be accomplished. He was a very humble man and did not talk about his many successes.
His belief in God was very strong. He was a committed member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and served as head deacon for nearly 20 years.
Earl’s family was the largest part of his life. He and Bev raised six children; three daughters and three sons. Earl instilled his deep commitment to family and hard work into all of his children. He passed on his love of water skiing to his children and spoke fondly of memories at the lake with them. Earl deeply enjoyed two generations of grandchildren, family traditions included backhoe rides from Grandpa Earl and large family gatherings in the sunroom at Earl and Bev’s home. Earl was kind, warm, man. His love for his family and friends extended generations. He will be deeply missed by so many.
Earl is survived by his children, Jan Miller, Bobby Hempstead, Earlene Brown, Barry Hempstead, Tammy Barney, and Benny E. Hempstead; grandchildren, Cazz Kellum, Jason Hempstead, Chelsi Johnson, Brittany Hempstead, Hannah Hempstead, Megan Morales, Andrew Hempstead, Jessica Kellum; and seven great-grandchildren.
Donations in memory of Earl may be made to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2175 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay, OR 97420.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.
Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com