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William Earl, ex-Niagara County district attorney
July 2, 1913 -- June 17, 2007

Former Niagara County District Attorney William H. Earl died Sunday in Niagara Hospice House, Lockport. He was 93.

Mr. Earl was first elected to the post in 1954 and served through 1966.

Born in Lockport, he graduated from DeVeaux Military Academy in Niagara Falls in 1931 and attended Hobart College. He earned his law degree from the University of Buffalo Law School in 1937 and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1938. That year, he began practicing law at a firm run by Assemblyman David E. Jeffery.

Mr. Earl was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve in 1943 and served as an air combat intelligence officer aboard escort carriers with Composite Squadron 69 during World War II. While he was aboard the USS Mission Bay, his squadron provided air cover and anti-submarine defense for President Franklin D. Roosevelt upon Roosevelt's return from the Yalta Conference on the Crimean Peninsula in February 1945. During his service, Mr. Earl attained the permanent rank of lieutenant in the Naval Reserve.

Upon his release from active duty in 1946, Mr. Earl resumed practicing law with Jeffery, and in 1947 they formed the Jeffery & Earl partnership. He opened his own Lockport law office in 1953 and remained a partner in the law firm of Earl, DeLange and May for many decades after that.

In 1951, he was appointed assistant district attorney for Niagara County and resigned to run for the district attorney's post.

He had been a vestryman and warden of Grace Episcopal Church in Lockport. He was a member of the Lockport Town and Country Club; the Tuscarora Club of Lockport; Lodge 41, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; B. Leo Dolan Post 410, American Legion; and Red Jacket Lodge 646, Free & Accepted Masons.

Mr. Earl is survived by his wife of 69 years, the former Marjorie B. Kohankie; a daughter, Marcia E. Moss; and a son, William H. Jr.

A service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Grace Episcopal Church, 100 Genesee St., Lockport.

[MCNEIL]

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