Monday, June 24, 2024

Earl McLean Bethune, 78

Earl McLean Bethune (Peacock, Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service)

SOUTHPORT — Earl McLean Bethune, age 78, of Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina went peacefully to be with the Lord on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

Mr. Bethune was born April 2, 1946 in Richmond County, North Carolina, son of the late Earl Archie Bethune and Nellie McLean Bethune. He and his younger brother spent their early years in Rockingham, NC and moved to Charlotte in their teenage years. He graduated from West Mecklenburg High School in 1965. He met his love and then went on to marry her in June of 1968 in a lovely, family garden officiated by his wife’s uncle, Reverend Neal Baker.

Earl was a veteran of the US Navy and the Naval Reserve from 1966 until honorably discharged in 1971. He served proudly in the Boat Support Unit, Unit Two, in Norfolk, Virginia, assisting the U.S. Navy Seals with their maritime maneuvers. During his Naval career, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal by the U.S. Navy.

In 1987, Earl, his wife, and their two daughters relocated from Matthews/Waxhaw area to the Southport/Oak Island area. He worked as a commercial and residential heating and air installation specialist, achieving his Journeyman Card early in his approximately forty-years in this profession; and retiring from Mansfield Brothers of Southport, NC. Earl’s favorite pastimes were spending time with his grandchildren, taking long scenic walks around town, eating breakfast at local diners with longtime friends, and watching boats go in and out of the Cape Fear River at the Southport Waterfront with his wife.

Survivors include his wife of fifty-five years, Linda Campbell Bethune; two daughters, Kelly Leone and Erin Willis; thirteen loving grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and one brother, Greg Bethune and wife Betty; an uncle, Robert McLean and his wife Emily; and his cousins Freddie, Eddie, Mackie and their wives, and extended family and friends.

A celebration of his life will be announced in the future.

Online condolences may be made here.

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