Earl was born in Elk City, Oklahoma November 2, 1946 to Charles Bales and Beatrice (Millington) Bales of Berlin, Oklahoma. The eldest son of Charles and Beatrice, Earl had four brothers, Gerald, Larry, Doyle and Gene. They had a good family; very competitive, hard working and strong. Earl was active in 4H, Boy Scouts, track & field discus, and academics. Raising farm animals such as rabbits was a way of life. So was the hard work of growing and picking cotton. His free time was spent fishing with his grandmother and hunting all types of small animals. Dedicated to whatever he was doing, Earl graduated valedictorian and Berlin class president of 1966.
Earl went on to attend college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Although he spent most of his time studying, Earl ordered a new 1968 SS396 Chevelle car which made college a little more fun. Soon afterward, he met Sherry Ann (Word) Bales while giving a couple of girls a ride from class in his car. Earl and Sherry married in 1970 and finished school together at SWOSU. Earl completed a double-major of Physics and Mathematics with a double-minor of Economics and Computer Science. Sherry earned a degree in Art with a minor in Home Economics.
After college, Earl was hired by Honeywell as a computer programmer. Computers were much bigger then, and one of Earl’s projects involved helping build the world’s largest computer. He was flown across the US including many trips to Boston, Massachusetts. Earl was asked to move to Boston when Honeywell closed the Oklahoma City office, however after visiting a few times and almost buying a house, he decided to leave the company and was employed by a different company in Oklahoma City.
Earl and Sherry were blessed with two sons while living in Yukon, Oklahoma. Shane Ryle Bales was born August 6, 1973, and Clay Sterling Bales was born September 30, 1974. After a few years of raising the boys in the “city”, they made the major life decision to go back to Western Oklahoma so that their sons could grow up with relatives and live the country life. This is when Earl started a new career in Arnett, Oklahoma as a bulldozer operator in his new dirt construction company. The company focused on serving farmers building terraces, dams and waterways throughout Northwest Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. Soon Sherry, Shane and Clay were fellow employees driving equipment and helping with mechanic work. Earl kept his mind active by building computers for the local community. Many schools and business were first introduced to networking and accounting software because of Earl’s passion for computers and helping people. Fun was plentiful in Western Oklahoma. The family filled their free time with hunting, fishing, water skiing, and riding a dirt bike.
After 15 years of running the dirt construction business, Earl was ready for the new adventure of teaching school. He tested to teach high school subjects and was approved to teach all mathematics, all sciences and has a Principal’s certificate. Hired at Butler, Oklahoma, Earl spent some great years helping kids learn and sharing his passion for math and computers. Then, an opportunity to teach and manage the computers at the Sayre Junior College became available, and Earl was able to use all of his knowledge and skills. For many years, he has been the Network Administrator for the college and has developed many special relationships with staff and bright young students.
During this time, Earl’s son Clay married Lisa (Michels) Bales, and Earl and Sherry quickly gained a granddaughter Faith Olson and a grandson Connor Bales. Family visits to Earl and Sherry’s home in Sayre became filled with toy trains, trucks, fishing, feeding geese, and lots of time spent reading books.
Earl was set to retire from teaching this year, but sadly passed away before getting a needed rest. Earl Lynn Bales passed away on Saturday, July 18th at the age of 69. Earl was preceded in death by parents Charles and Beatrice Bales of Sayre, Oklahoma, Brother Gerald Bales of Memphis, Tennessee, son Shane Ryle Bales of Arnett, Oklahoma, and in-laws, Charles and Audine Word of Arnett, Oklahoma. Earl is survived by wife Sherry Ann Bales of Arnett, Oklahoma, son Clay Sterling Bales and wife Lisa Bales of Cedar Park, Texas, grandchildren Faith Olson and Connor Bales of Cedar Park, Texas, Brothers Larry and wife Glenda Bales, Doyle and Susan Bales and Gene Jolene Bales, Sister-in-law, Brenda and husband George Giffin, Brothers-in-law, Brent and wife Lanie Word, Brad and wife Brenda Word, Bruce and wife Starla Word, 18 nieces and nephews, and numerous other beloved relatives and friends.
Above all, Earl Bales will be remembered as a good and faithful servant of the Lord.
Services are under the direction of Shaw & Redinger Funeral Home of Arnett, Oklahoma
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 10:00 am at the Arnett Church of Christ.
Burial will follow at the DeBolt Cemetery in Arnett.
Viewing Hours at Funeral Home in Arnett
Monday 2pm to 6pm
Tuesday 9am to 7pm
Memorials may be made to SWOSU-Sayre Foundation
c/o Shaw Funeral Home.
Whinery-Savage Funeral Online Service, July 22, 2015