James E. Earley

  • Died: November 30, 2021
  • Location: Westwood, Massachusetts

Holden, Dunn & Lawler Funeral Home

55 High Rock St
Westwood, MA 02090

westwoodfh@verizon.net
Tel. (781) 326-0074

Tribute & Message From The Family


James E. Earley, of Westwood, MA, passed away on November 30. Beloved husband of Marion L. Earley and treasured father of Matthew R. Earley (and his wife Elizabeth) of Wellesley, Michael J. Earley of No. Falmouth, Brooke E. Asnis (and her husband Peter) of Wellesley and Daniel A. Earley of Westwood. Loving grandfather of Jane and Thomas Earley, William and Caroline Earley, Owen, Sydney and Catie Asnis. Brother of Mary Hunson of Gloucester and Deborah Fay of Alexandria, N.H., her husband Tom and loving uncle to their children, Sean, Kim, Kelly and Michael. He was predeceased by two brothers, George Earley and Robert Earley. Born in Brookline in 1939, he graduated from Brookline High School in 1957 after earning 11 varsity letters in 3 years of eligibility. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Natural Resource Management. After graduation, he served a National Recreation Association internship with the City of Philadelphia and directed the city's Camp William Penn in the Pocono Mountains, at that time, the only completely tax-supported residential camp in the country. In 1969 he became the Director of the Hale Reservation in Westwood and served in that capacity for 33 years, transforming the 1200-acre facility into the largest day camp complex in the country and serving 2,000 campers each day. Upon his retirement in 2001, the Boston Globe wrote, "When Earley arrived at Hale, forced busing in Boston was pitting neighborhood against neighborhood. So Earley, with the help of the board and his staff pioneered the concept of bringing children from very different backgrounds together, on neutral ground, in wholesome activities." He was a former President of the American Camp Association, New England and Treasurer of the national American Camp Association from whom he received the Distinguished Service Award. Graveside services will be private and a celebration of his life is planned for the spring. Donations in his memory may be made to The Trustees of Reservations, 200 High Street, Boston, MA 02110 (thetrustees.org) or the Willow Hill School, 98 Haynes Road, Sudbury, MA 01776.