2014-05-17 / Obituaries

William Early


William Early William Early William Lee Early, 76, of Bonita Springs, Florida, died Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at Joanne’s House in Bonita Springs.

He was born December 10, 1937, to Michael and Minnie (nee Stevens) Early in Detroit.

Mr. Early’s family members have been residents of Mackinac Island since the mid-1800s.

He was a U.S. Navy veteran. He also worked as a police officer and for the post office on Mackinac Island. He and his wife, Cassandra, owned the Cannonball Drive-In at British Landing for 35 years.

Mr. Early was a member of Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church. He was a founding member of the Mackinac Island Preservation Society.

Because of his love for reading and books, he and his wife opened Cypress Paperback Bookstore in Fort Myers, Florida. Mrs. Early still owns the bookstore, which has been in business for 27 years.

He was a member of the American Legion and Eagles, both in Bonita Springs. He was also a successful first mate on a charter boat for many years, and he enjoyed fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, reeling in the grouper. Mr. Early enjoyed a good beer and good conversation.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Cassandra (nee King) Early; two children and their families, Erin Early of Lansing and Erik Early of Zephyrhills, Florida, and three grandchildren, Skyler, Zander, and Kaydan. He is also survived by a brother and his family, Joe and Cleta Early of Phoenix, Arizona; two sisters and their families, Dot and Louie Sambiagio of Petersburg and Pat and Jim McKiernan of Richmond, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Catherine, and two brothers, John and Robert.

A celebration of his life will be held in early June on Mackinac Island, with the date, time, and location to be announced in a future issue of the Mackinac Island Town Crier.

Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Horizon Funeral Home in Fort Myers assisted the family with arrangements.

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