LIGONIER — The Benjamin B and Kathleen June Earley Memorial Scholarship was established to aid an East Noble High School senior planning to attend Ball State University to honor their life legacy of education.
This scholarship, and many others, will be available from the Community Foundation of Noble County on Monday, Nov. 25, with an application deadline date of Jan. 15, 2020. Visit the community foundation’s website at www.cfnoble.org or call Jennifer at (260) 894-3335 to learn more.
Kathleen June Earley was born in Kendallville on June 1, 1927, in the farmhouse where she grew up. She was the daughter of Carl and Katherine (Weingart) Mabus. She went to the original Wayne Center School. After graduating from Kendallville High School, she went to Ball State and graduated with a degree in teaching.
Benjamin “Ben” Earley was born on Nov. 5, 1921 in Bluffton, Indiana, the son of Benjamin and Margaret Earley. Ben attended Anderson High School and graduated from Ball State University in 1943, majoring in history. He received his master’s degree from Indiana University. Kathleen and Ben were married on Aug. 3, 1952, in Muncie.
Kathleen taught at Muncie Central for seven years and was where she first met Ben. Kathleen moved to Kendallville from Rushville in 1965. After obtaining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she worked as a business teacher, retiring from East Noble High School after 19 years there. She also assisted her sister at The Toggery Men’s Store in Kendallville.
Ben began his teaching career at Noblesville High School, where he served as assistant basketball coach. He then became a history teacher at Muncie Central High School. Three years later he was asked to become assistant principal and dean of boys at Muncie Central. Ben actually attended the Muncie Central vs. Milan basketball game on which the movie “Hoosiers’ was based. In 1957, he became principal of Rushville High School. Then from 1965 to 1984, he was principal at Kendallville Middle School.
As educators, the Earleys were unique in the way they approached their profession. Way before it was common, Ben made boys take “Home Ec.” and girls take “shop.” Kathleen tried never to use the same lesson plan again. She stayed up late at night to work on new ones.
The Earleys had strong beliefs in religion and volunteered in many aspects of Trinity United Methodist Church. They were always supportive of their children in whatever endeavor they undertook. They believed in hard work and treating people the right way. They cherished their grandchildren, who referred to them as “Ba” and “Nana”. They treasured the time they could spend with them.