Leroy “Lee” Oliver Earle, 78, of San Antonio, Texas, passed away on July 28, 2016.
Lee was born Sept. 26, 1937, in Harlem, N.Y. He was a first generation American raised by parents who werer immigrants from the West Indies. His mother, Isola Dixon, emigrated from Jamaica in the late 1920s; his father, George Earle, emigrated from Barbados about the same time. His older brother, George, was his idol and the person he emulated.
Lee’s childhood was filled with music lessons because his mother was fueled by the passion of the Harlem renaissance and the music of The Cotton Club and The Apollo Theater. She felt that young Lee needed a craft that would assist him in going to college. Lee graduated from New York’s High School of Music and Art and earned bachelor’s and master’s Degrees in music and education from the Manhattan School of Music.
Lee worked as a music teacher and administrator for the New York City Board of Education, teaching primarily at I.S. 292 in Brooklyn for more than 30 years. For more than 40 years he freelanced as a musician all over New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and upstate New York. He had a solid reputation from Niagara Falls to the local jazz scene in New York City.
His hobbies were music, traveling with his wife, and being a dad. He was active in his local churches and gave piano lesson until 2009, when his health began to fail.
Lee married Priscilla Jane Fullerton on March 26, 1964; they were married 49 years. She preceded him death, as did his parents and his brother, George.
Lee is survived by his son, Scott; grandchildren, Taylor, Scott Jr., Langston and Lailah; a great-grandchild, Harley; nephews, George and Clayton; and other family and friends.
Visitation will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016, at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 929 Battlefield Blvd. S., Chesapeake, Va. A funeral service, with the Earle Family officiating, will be at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Chesapeake Memorial Gardens, 542 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, Va.