Angels escorted Earl Joseph Guimond into heaven on Friday, August 11, 2023, lovingly welcomed by his parents Earl A. and Dorothy P. (Shedore) Guimond, and his son John. Earl “The Pearl” was born on July 9, 1939, in Escanaba, Michigan the eldest of three brothers. The family moved to Ontario, California in the early 1950s and Earl attended Chaffey High School before joining the United States Navy in 1956.
During his four-year naval career as a Photographer’s Mate, he was stationed aboard two aircraft carriers, the USS Philippine Sea and the USS Bon Homme Richard, deploying to many countries in Southeast Asia. He also spent a nine-month deployment on the island of Guam. While on the USS Philippine Sea, he remembered vividly that his ship under the command of Admiral Ahroon played a crucial part in the famous search for the missing Pan American Airlines Flight 7 nicknamed the “Romance of the Skies”. He and his fellow crewmen were the first to discover the wreckage and were instrumental in the recovery of the bodies. He still recalled the horror that he experienced as an 18-year-old upon seeing a stewardess still strapped in her seat.
Upon his discharge, he enlisted in the California Air National Guard and served his country for an additional two years. While stationed at Miramar NAS in San Diego in the summer of 1959, he met 15-year-old Connie Bradley on a blind date. They corresponded via snail mail throughout his ensuing time on Guam and shortly upon his return home became engaged. They eloped to Las Vegas, Nevada, and were married on December 31, 1960. Over time they welcomed four children, Douglas (Catherine) of La Habra, California, John, a commercial pilot killed in Nome, Alaska, Susan (Duke) of Birdseye, Indiana, and Jeffrey of Edwardsport, Indiana.
Earl was the proud grandfather of Collette (Daniel) Alger of Chino Valley, Arizona, Camille Guimond, also of Chino Valley, and Brittany (Taran) Meng of Utah, as well as John Adam and Analyse Noel DeWitte of Birdseye, Indiana. He was also the revered great-grandfather of Maverick and Mackenzie Alger and Lilah Meng.
He retired from the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company when they closed their plant in South Gate, California in the early 1980’s and later joined his wife and son in operating Action Trophy in La Habra. Unfortunately, his deteriorating health forced him into permanent retirement in August 1998.
He was a lifetime member of the California PTA and mentored his children both in sports and especially Scouting. Before his disability he enjoyed biking, bowling, camping, square dancing, and backpacking, having earned scouting’s Peak Bagger badge, awarded to people who had scaled 10 peaks over 10,000 feet. His later sedentary pursuits included pinochle, euchre, and the “Ticket to Ride” games.
He was a member of American Legion Post #124 in Ferdinand. A memorial/celebration of life with military honors will take place at the Huntingburg United Methodist Church, 416 N. Main Street in Huntingburg at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 27, 2023, which would have been hisdeceased son’s 60th birthday. His cremains will be scattered in the Pacific Ocean with his beloved son at a later date.