Joseph Paul Earley, 87, federal worker, volunteer
Joseph Paul Earley, a retired federal employee and a volunteer, died Sunday at Johns Hopkins Hospital of head injuries suffered in a fall. He was 87.
The Severna Park resident joined the federal Securities and Exchange Commission in 1935 and moved to the Social Security Administration in 1940. He retired as director of SSA's Division of Entitlement in 1974.
In retirement, Mr. Earley and his wife of 61 years, the former Elizabeth Clifford, became volunteers. He was an instructor of volunteers for the Red Cross Blood Bank and an advocate at the Consumer Protection Division of the Maryland attorney general's office.
The Earleys were volunteers and fund-raisers for the Hospice of the Chesapeake and in 1994 received the Hospice Heart Award.
Mr. Earley also volunteered at the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging, counseling the elderly on medical benefits.
He belonged to the Severn River Lions Club, where he was recognized for his dedication to providing transportation for the blind and assisting with the group's fund raising.
He had been president and board member, and was Lion of the Year in 1995.
In 1996, he was selected a "community hero" for his voluntarism, an honor that made him one of the carriers of the torch for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
He had been secretly nominated for the award by his granddaughter, Allison Earley Mathews and carried the torch through Severna Park.
Mr. Earley was born in Pittston, Pa., and moved to Washington, where he earned a bachelor's degree from Columbus School of Law.
A funeral Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. today at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 689 Ritchie Highway in Severna Park.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Mary Wilkins of Arlington, Texas; two sons Joseph P. Earley of Glen Burnie and Stephen Earley of Salisbury; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.