Earl L. Miner
Earl L. Miner
March 15, 1931 – April 4, 2019
Earl Miner was born in Elsmore, Kansas, on March 15, 1931. His spirit took its final flight on April 4, 2019 in Lebanon, Missouri. The world changed dramatically in those 88 years. Earl contributed many important developments to improve the world around him and for the greater good of humanity.
His mother, Mabel Miner, loved him dearly and called Earl her “Sonny Boy”. Earl’s entry into the world created a stir in their south-east Kansas community as his biological father, Everett Lee Bacon, was not part of their lives. Earl’s grandfather, Henry Miner, was his earliest father figure. When Earl was four, Mabel married Floyd Boler who was Earl’s “Daddy Floyd” and the only father he knew.
Earl’s inventive nature was obvious from an early age. From hooking a tractor’s power belt to the washing machine on the porch to a scooter that he ran all around the countryside and into Missouri, Earl kept experimenting and designing.
As Earl grew, so did his family. Mabel and Floyd had eight children who marveled at their big brother and loved him without reservation. After graduating from high school where he excelled in avoiding math and sports, Earl signed up for the Air Force.
Air Force discipline was not Earl’s favorite part, but he loved fixing airplanes and pilots knew that Earl’s maintenance crew was the best. In California, a friend got Earl to drive him to San Francisco where Earl met Leona Barefoot. She admired his spirit and good looks and he was smitten from the moment he saw her. They married March 8, 1952 in Arvin, California.
From California to Kansas and back again, Earl’s inventiveness led to jobs that lasted until the project was finished. Planes, rockets, tractors and anything mechanical provided a living for his family. Personal projects were built on kitchen floors and in back yards and garages.
Leona supported Earl’s projects, gardened, planned and budgeted so they could raise seven amazing children who marveled at their daddy and his creative genius. The extended family of foster children who became sisters and brothers and many friends who loved and admired Earl were the “riches” he enjoyed.
Earl and Leona believed that helping others was important and their faith included loving as Christ loved. Missionaries, foster children, educators, pets, friends and family all benefited from their generosity of spirit and donations.
Earl’s inventions and designs are spread around the world. The Rocket is one-of-a-kind enjoyed by thousands as he drove it everywhere for several years. The PET/Mobility Cart has the greatest impact with over 73 thousand in 104 countries. The lives of every single PET owner, family and community are a legacy that enriches the spirits of Earl’s family who know their Daddy is a true hero.
Earl was preceded in death by his parents, brother Floyd Boler, Jr. “JR” who shared his love of airplanes and gadgets, brother Roger Bacon who he found late in life, sons-in-law Jon Griffith and Brian Cottle, grandsons Ben White and Sean Vader, and his beloved wife, Leona.
He is survived by his children:
Tracy Miner & wife, Sandra – Columbia, Missouri
Kathleen Miner – Marshfield, Missouri
Rodney Miner & wife, Cyfrin – Kellogg, Idaho
Grace Kraft & husband, Tom – Springfield, Missouri
Mitchell Miner & wife, Judith – Nixa, Missouri
Amelia Cottle – Columbia, Missouri
Suzanne Miner & husband, Raymond Vader – Eagle Rock, Missouri
Tayany Miner, Quezya Miner, Christopher Cottle, Skye Miner and Jessica Campbell
Hellen Welch - Elsmore, Kansas
Shirley Dinkins - LaHarpe, Kansas
Sharon Kay Brower & husband, Ron - Farlington, Kansas
Betty Hawley & husband, George - Elsmore, Kansas
Alice Bolin & husband, Dale - Las Vegas, Nevada
Clara Cunningham – Iola, Kansas
Larry Boler & wife, Anna – Pittsburg, Kansas
Multitudes of nieces, nephews, extended family & dear friends
Special thanks to the staff of Lebanon North Christian Health and Rehabilitation who took care of Earl for his last five years. We know they loved and admired Earl and we are grateful to them.
Funeral services with full military honors will be at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, April 11, 2019 at Fraker Funeral Home, Inc, with interment following in St. Luke Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 in the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the PET project, Gift of Mobility 1908 Heriford Rd.
Columbia, Missouri 65202 or www.giftofmobility.org
The Rocket’s continuing mission is to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research, veterans and Earl’s legacy. Donations to support the Rocket can be made to “The Rocket Car” at Equity Banks or The Rocket Car PO Box 212 Golden, Missouri 65658 www.therocket.us
Earl’s book, “Earl Miner: A Man and His Machines” is available at http://www.blurb.com/b/3915433-earl-miner-a-man-and-his-machines