Harley Clifton Easter
Harley Clifton Easter, of RoseWood Village at Greenbrier, died in faith after an extended illness Sunday, July 15, 2012, fulfilling 32,716 days. “The grass withers, the flower fades because the Spirit of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass,” Isaiah 40:7. Trusting Jesus Christ alone for the righteousness he did not have and could not provide for himself, Harley died knowing all his sins were completely forgiven forever in Christ and that the promise of eternal life was as sure as Jesus’ Word.
Born December 20, 1922, in Ronda, NC, the fourth child of Thomas and Evelyn Thomas Easter, Harley grew up in Farmville, VA, and attended John Randolph High School in Cumberland County. He received a bachelor’s degree from Hampden-Sydney College where he enrolled in the V-12 Navy College Training Program.
Upon graduation from college, Harley attended the U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen’s School at Columbia University, and entered into active duty with the US fleet, serving in the Pacific Ocean Theater during WWII. He ended active service as LTJG. As with many from the greatest generation, Harley fought sacrificially, not for fame or recognition, but for a cause exceeding his own personal welfare and happiness.
Harley received an LLB degree from the University Of Virginia School of Law in 1950. He was a member of the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association and a lifetime member of the Virginia Bar Association. Additionally, Harley was a member of the American Bar Association and the American Bar Association International.
For many years Harley worked as a real estate broker and residential developer primarily in Charlottesville and Albemarle County and was a member of the Charlottesville Real Estate Board. His developments included Glenorchy, Woodlawn, Azalea Gardens, Westover Hills, and Bybee (Louisa). He also served on the Albemarle County School Board.
Harley was instrumental in the development of the Babe Ruth Baseball program in Charlottesville. He served as secretary-treasurer of the Baker Babe Ruth Baseball and the Lane Babe Ruth Baseball Leagues during their formative years.
Infinitely transcending all temporal pursuits and earthly accomplishments, Harley’s chief joy and treasure was apprehending Jesus Christ as his substitute punishment and substitute perfection; this not on the basis of anything Harley was or knew innately, or originated, but by the sheer mercy, kindness, and goodness of God toward him in what Christ did for him. Harley endured to the end for an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, unfading, because Jesus Christ had made him His own.
From his childhood Harley possessed a brimming confidence in the veracity, authenticity, and authority of the Bible. This strong assurance energized him to teach the Word of God from his youth. For several decades he taught an adult men’s Sunday School class at First Baptist Church in Charlottesville where he was a member more than 50 years. He also ministered as a deacon in First Baptist Church, served as an adult Sunday School superintendent, and worked with the Royal Ambassador program.
For those for whom he gave his life, his own children, Harley taught them reverence and honor for the Bible as the Word of God, inspired and inerrant; the centrality and supremacy of the Trinitarian Godhead; the absolute imperative of trusting Christ alone for salvation by grace alone through faith alone. He would want us to say, in the words of the apostle Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” Moreover, he would adjure us today: no man knows his days, life is short, judgment is sure, ponder mortality, and cling to Christ alone.
Harley was preceded in death by his brothers Glenn, Harold, and Vernon Easter, and sister Virginia E. Latham. Additionally, he was predeceased by his great-granddaughter Elliana Rose Freeman.
Harley is survived by his wife of 68 years, Nannie Lois Reames Easter, and seven children: Harley Easter, Jr. and wife Sandra, of Raleigh, NC; Thomas Glenn Easter II and wife Nancy, of Horizon City, Texas; Emily Easter and husband Joseph Gabriel, of Charlottesville; Amy Easter Mangum and husband Merl, of Raleigh, NC; David Raymond Easter, of Fluvanna; Paul Easter and wife Stephanie, of Louisa; Diana Easter Rapp and husband Tom, of Keswick. Moreover, his ten grandchildren remain: Ryan Easter and wife Stephanie, Kyle Easter, David Rapp, Rachel Rapp, Andrew Rapp, Lydia Ruth Easter Neff and husband Luke, Daniel Easter and wife Wendy, David Easter, Deborah Easter Barkley and husband Adam, Sarah Easter Freeman and husband Colt.
Harley leaves two great grandchildren: Zoey Ryan Easter and Liam Josiah Neff.
Additionally, he is survived by his brother Clarence Easter of Charlottesville and his sister Carrie E. Moore of Farmville, VA.
A funeral service highlighting the power, beauty, and freedom of the true and living God in saving Harley from sin, condemnation, and the wrath of God will be held Saturday, July 21st, at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 735 Park Street in Charlottesville, VA, with his pastor Lindsay Sadler officiating and family members sharing. Interment will follow at Monticello Memory Gardens.
The family will receive friends Friday, July 20th, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Hill and Wood Funeral Service, 201 N. 1st Street in Charlottesville. Memorials are thankfully directed to International Mission Board (Memo: for Lottie Moon Offering), P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230-0767.
Online guest book signatures and messages: www.hillandwood.com