Earl John Britton was born Sept. 6, 1919, at Mission Hill, S.D., the son of Chester and Mae (Osborne) Britton. The family lived north of Le Mars and moved to Alton in 1940, where he managed Friedman Implement.
On Nov. 12, 1947, he married Mary Sullivan at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars.
Earl was a salesman for American Gear Company and operated the Dairy Queen in Sheldon before moving to Le Mars in 1956 and operating Britton's Service Station and Trailer Sales until his retirement.
Earl used his talents during retirement to construct leather harness for model horses and crafted model farm wagons.
Earlier in life, he enjoyed fishing and family vacations to Minnesota and many summer trips to Lake Okoboji. Earl was very proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Britton, of Le Mars; six children: John (Margaret) Britton, of Le Mars, Linda DeLair, of Le Mars, Mark (Michele) Britton, of Le Mars, Merle Britton, of San Angelo, Texas, Kay (Charles) Kellen, of Le Mars, and Sue Nash and Mike Nash, of Omaha, Neb.; 14 grandchildren: Jamie Britton, Katie (Lance) Goulding, William Britton and friend, Valen English, Sara Britton, Thomas Britton, Lisa DeLair, Lora DeLair, Angie (Nathan) Blair, Kyle Britton, Matthew (Kelli) Britton, Jackie (Jeremy) Sitzmann, Theresa Allen, Eric (Christina) Kellen, and Crystal Kellen and her fiancÚ, Scott Nussbaum; 12 great-grandchildren; a sister, Erlynne (William) Freriks, of Alton; a brother-in-law, LeRoy (Laura) Schneider, of St. Paul, Ore.; a sister-in-law, Shirley Sullivan, of Mesa, Ariz.; a cousin Lyle Kunuth, of Le Mars; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Bradley Britton; a daughter-in-law, Donna Britton; a son-in-law, Donald DeLair; a sister Ethel (Ray) Friedman-Schneider, brothers-in-law: Floyd (Lorraine) Sullivan, Harold (Barbara) Sullivan, and Edmund Sullivan; and a sister-in-law, Patricia (Gene) Peters.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars. The Rev. Matt Hewitt and the Rev. Michael Peters (nephew) of Panora/Guthrie Center/Bayard will concelebrate. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Wednesday, with a parish rosary at 4 p.m., and a scriptural wake service at 7 p.m., all at Carlsen-Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars.
Pallbearers will be six grandchildren: William Britton, Thomas Britton, Lisa DeLair, Kyle Britton, Matthew Britton, and Eric Kellen. Honorary Pallbearers will be six granddaughters: Jamie Britton, Katie Britton, Sara Britton, Lora DeLair, Angie Blair, Jackie Sitzmann, Theresa Allen and Crystal Kellen.
Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.