George I. Earnest Jr.

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 26, 2007

NORFOLK—Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. George I. Earnest Jr., formerly of Norfolk, died in Inova Fairfax Hospital Nov. 20, 2007, after a brief illness.

Mr. Earnest was born in Norfolk May 21, 1914, and was raised in Franklin.

At the age of 16, he attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute where he graduated with a bachelor of science in chemistry in 1934 and then completed a master’s degree in chemical engineering in 1935.

While at Tech, he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and received his commission in 1935 in the Army Reserves.

He served 28 years in the

U.S. Army and Army Reserves. Capt. Earnest was a unit commander in the 457th Anti Aircraft Artillery, Automatic Weapons Battalion, Coast Artillery Corps in World War II. He participated in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns.

He went into Normandy on D-Day plus one, marched through Paris when the city was liberated and ended his tour of Europe in Germany.

He received the Bronze Star, the American Service Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. He resided in Norfolk from 1945 until 2005.

He worked for Royster Fertilizers as a chemist and at the 5th Naval District, NOB, as a sanitation engineer, before working as a materials engineer at Norfolk Air Reworks Facility, NAS in Norfolk.

He was a member of the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Norfolk where he taught the Gordon Bible Class for adults for 25 years and served as a deacon, elder and chairman of the board.

He was also a member of the Torch Club of Norfolk, the American Chemical Society, Kiwanis International and the Corps of Cadets’ “Old Guard” at Virginia Tech.

Since May 2005, he had been living at the Fairfax Nursing Center in Fairfax.

Survivors include his daughters, Mary Carol St. Germain and husband Joseph St. Germain of Burke, Kathy Earnest-Koons and husband Philip Koons of Ithaca, N.Y.; his granddaughter, Cami St. Germain and husband Christopher Ruck of Fairfax; and his great-grandson, Evan St. Germain Ruck.

He was predeceased by his loving wife of 57 years, Mary Frances Reveille Earnest.

Burial will be in Forest Lawn Cemetery after a funeral on Sunday at 2 p.m. in First Christian Church, 1600 Colonial Ave., Norfolk.

Visitation was to be in Cox Funeral Home Saturday from 7 to 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech payable to Virginia Tech Foundation, Virginia Tech, University Development (0336), 902 Price’s Fork Road, Blacksburg VA 24061 Attn: Corps of Cadets, Lexington Theological Seminary, 631 S. Limestone, Lexington, KY 40508 or Union Mission, Union Mission Ministries, 130 Brooke Ave., P.O. Box 3203, Norfolk, VA 23514.