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Earl Glen Cromwell

February 27, 1919 ~ May 2, 2019 (age 100)

Earl Glen Cromwell, 100, of Terre Haute, IN went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, May 2, 2019.  He was born February 27, 1919 on the family farm near Maddensville, PA (Huntingdon County), the eldest son of Emory Irvin Cromwell and Grace Mort Cromwell.  Earl was predeceased by his loving wife, Freda Hahn Cromwell, of Progress, PA whom he married July 17, 1942.  He graduated valedictorian from Hustontown High School in May, 1936.  At 17, Earl began supporting his mother and siblings due to the untimely death of his father earlier that spring.  He worked in area coal mines, helped farmers harvest hay and wheat, moved to Harrisburg, PA to work at the Bethlehem Steel Mills, in Steelton, and was a passenger brakeman for the Pennsylvania Railroad before enlisting in the United States Navy in 1943. One year later, he departed from Brooklyn Navy Yard for Falmouth, England aboard LST #392 (Landing Ship Tank). The Atlantic crossing was made in convoy with other ships due to the threat of German submarines. Earl, a Pharmacist’s Mate, landed with his shipmates on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France on June 6, 1944 (D-Day). After his participation in the Atlantic Theatre of World War II, Earl was sent to serve in the Pacific at Luzon, the largest island of the Philippines.  Honorably discharged from the Navy in 1945 as a Petty Officer 2nd Class, Earl returned to civilian life in Harrisburg and to his beloved wife, Freda. Always the optimist, with a strong work ethic, and admired by family and friends for his “can do” attitude, Earl decided that he could build a house, though he had no construction experience.  After researching the options available at that time, he ordered a “pre-cut” home from a company in Bay City, Michigan…to be delivered to Pennsylvania by railcar.  Literally, everything was included:  windows, doors, wiring, roofing, floor joists, etc.  This benchmark signaled the start of a 30-year career in home building in central Pennsylvania. Earl was recognized by his peers for quality homes at affordable prices. Earl was an avid outdoorsman.  He enjoyed deer and small game hunting, saltwater fishing, boating, and spending summers with his family at their cottage in Ocean City, NJ. For many years, he was a member of the Lower Paxton Lions Club and the Central PA Builders Association.  Earl was a life-long member of the Progress Church of God, where he and Freda first met.  He attended Faith Wesleyan Church during his years in Terre Haute. Earl is survived by his 3 children:  Dennis Cromwell and wife, Judy, Frederick, MD; Sharon Seidenberg and husband, Harvey, Terre Haute, IN; and Marcia Frazee, Mesa, AZ.  Grandchildren:  CDR Derek Cromwell and wife, Moneiva, Centreville, VA; Diedre Moltere and husband, Teague, Frederick, MD; Rachel Salapka and husband, Darren, Carmel, IN; and Joseph Seidenberg and wife Jenny, Flagstaff, AZ; eleven great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Earl was predeceased by his sister, Geraldine Lerch, Bloomfield, NM; his brothers Wayne Cromwell, Hummelstown, PA; Donald Cromwell, Sebring, FL; and Clarence Moffet, Lewistown, PA. Earl outlived his siblings and was the eldest. Services will be held Saturday May 11, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at Greiner Funeral Home, 2005 North 13th Street, Terre Haute, IN., 47804. Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. until service time at the Funeral Home. Pastor Bob McHenry will be officiating. Arrangements in Pennsylvania will be conducted by Hetrick-Bitner Funeral Home, 3125 Walnut St., Harrisburg, PA  A Celebration of Life will be held in the funeral home chapel at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday May 15, 2019 with visitation from 11:00 a.m. until service time. Pastor Barbara Maurice will be officiating. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers that contributions be made to VNA Hospice of the Wabash Valley, 400 Eighth Ave., Terre Haute, IN. 47804. Burial will be at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, Harrisburg, PA.

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