Earl Lumpkin Soles, Jr., of Middlesex, passed this life Friday, August 10, 2018 to join Gina Florence, his wife of 55 years.
Earl was born May 2, 1936 in Cobbs Creek, Va. He was a graduate of Mathews High School and Randolph Macon College. After graduation, Earl worked as a Ranger and Historical Interpreter for the National Park Service. In 1962, he began his career at Colonial Williamsburg. As Senior Director of Trades and Programs, Earl was instrumental in the preservation and interpretation of many primitive trades that were nearly lost in history. He retired in 1993. In retirement he was active with the Mathews County Historical Society and Chairman of New Point Comfort Lighthouse Preservation Task Force. He had strong ties to Mathews and recognized the history of the county needed to be preserved. In 2013, Earl was honored by the Lighthouse Digest being named Keeper of the Quarter by the U.S. Lighthouse Society. He was honored for his efforts to try and save the 58-foot tall 1805 New Point Comfort Lighthouse. Most recently, Mathews County Board of Supervisors proclaimed August 7, 2018 to be Earl Soles Day, which happened to be National Lighthouse Day. On this day he was also named by the board an Honorary Lighthouse Keeper in Mathews County. He was a member of Lower United Methodist Church, Hartfield, Va.
He is survived by his son, Stephen Earl Soles, daughter, Gina Katherine Walsh, her husband (Dr. Kevin Walsh), grandchildren Michael Joseph, Charles Lumpkin and Mary Katherine Hipple and Laura Winter Soles.
The family will hold a private graveside service. A Celebration of Life to celebrate both Earl and his late wife Gina will be held August 25, 2018, 12:00 p.m. at the Mathews Yacht Club, 390 Yacht Club Road, Hudgins, Va. 23076. Condolences may be shared at www.nelsenwilliamsburg.com.
The family is most grateful to the Hospice House of Williamsburg for their loving care and encourages our father’s friends to support their outstanding service.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks to please support the New Point Comfort Lighthouse Fund at Mathews Community Foundation P.O. Box 1037, Mathews, Va. 23109 or The Myositis Association, www.myositis.org/donate.