Earl Russell Monson
Apr 8, 1920 - Feb 8, 2017
- Earl Russell Monson passed away February 8, 2017, at home in Oviedo, Florida. He was born in Caribou, Maine, April 8, 1920. Earl had a wonderful life. He was the most honorable man you could ever hope to know and you were blessed if you did. He married the most beautiful woman in the world, Katheryn Virginia (nee Clement) September 23, 1949.
At seven years old he knew he wanted a grocery store. He would go to the wholesaler and buy penny candy two for one and sold it on the front lawn for a penny each. He served in WWII and landed on Normandy. He shot down the first enemy plane, a ME262 Jet Fighter, followed by seven more. The reward was a case of scotch but when the case showed up it was shy 11 bottles. He received the Bronze Star crossing the Rhine on a pontoon after the Germans blew up the original bridge, eight Americans lost their lives constructing the pontoon bridge his crew first crossed to lay down support only to have the Germans walk out of the woods and surrender.
He sent money home each month to build the grocery store he dreamed of after the war, Monson's Market. The grocery store grew with the times and Earl's wonderful imagination. He added the first soft serve ice cream in the area and had lines of people down the street. Later he added life-sized animals that he enjoyed as much as the children. When people stopped to view the gorillas, giraffes, pandas, and the like, he would pull one of the wires to wave or move them and laughed at the surprise on everyone's face. He converted the family's huge Victorian home and carriage houses to apartments and the family moved to a home on the other side of the store. A woman's clothing store, High Fashions, was run by Katheryn. A few years before retirement a restaurant was added, Char-Co Chef.
Retirement was the purchase of a motorhome which they traveled to each of the 48 states over several years. Their final destination being Oviedo, Florida. Earl and Katheryn did everything together. Their favorite hobby being oil painting and dancing from big band, ballroom, disco and line dancing. Katheryn took the art classes at the college and Earl won Best of Show at the New England Pierian Art Club show. He made unique birdhouses sold at art shows and sculptures. His last art kick was painting on t-shirts his own designs, Margaritaville, 'jammin and more which strangers would approach him and comment.
Earl was predeceased by his parents, Olaf and May Monson, and sister and brother-in-law, Doris and (Burlen) Jones. He is survived by his wife, Katheryn and three children who worshipped and adored him, Dierdre Dianne Monson, Gregory Earl Monson and (Catherine) of Orlando, Florida, Judith Ellen Monson of Delaware, and John Chick of Cross Lake, Maine, who was like a son. The girls kept their maiden names to always honor and love him. He is survived by five grandchildren, Melanie McGrath, Dierdre and (Jack) Gregory, Robbie and (Heather) Massie, Catherine and (Kenny) Natsake, and Stephanie Jo and (Sean) Denez, nine great grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.
A gathering of family and friends will be held at the family home, Saturday, February 18, 2017.