Earl Threadgould, a community leader remembered

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By Paige Houpt
Mason Times staff writer

The words “compassionate” and “leader” are just a sample of the words that were used to describe Earl Threadgould on Saturday, March 19, at The First Presbyterian Church of Mason.

Threadgould, 67, passed away in Lake Wales, Fla., on March 9, 2011.
Threadgould was born  March 28, 1943 in Ann Arbor, Mich., to Earl Sr. and Madeline Threadgould. He graduated from Michigan State University with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

After graduation, Threadgould joined the Peace Corps in 1966, where he met his wife, Suzanne, in El Salvador, where they served as volunteers. Threadgould served in the Peace Corps from 1966 to 1970 in El Salvador and Guatemala.

He  worked at Michigan State University as a 4-H Youth Agent for 25 years before he retired in 1997. Michigan State University’s 4-H program mentors young adults throughout the community by building leadership skills, providing educational opportunities and serving their community.

“He could inspire the younger generation to do their best,” added a speaker at Saturday’s service.

Threadgould had a passion for gardening and the soil. He had a green thumb for tomatoes, and he was a market master at the Meridian Township Farmer Market. He was one of the market’s first contributors when it initially opened several years ago.

“He had a connection with the soil,” said his son, Philip Threadgould.

For nearly 20 years, Threadgould served as a member of the Mason Rotary Club, where he actively gave back to the community.

“Earl’s philosophy was, and not to quote John F. Kennedy, but ‘what can I do for my country, and not what my country can do for me,’ ” said Mason City Administrator, Martin Colburn.

Threadgold was known to most of Mason as a leader. Earl was an active member, deacon and elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Mason. He also was a board member of the Church World Service’s CROP Hunger Walk.

A few years ago, Dean Transportation donated several buses to the World Service Program, where Threadgould and volunteers filled the buses with goods and perishables and shipped them off to a poverty stricken village in Belize, Central America.

He had a presence that was shot with integrity,” said Rollin Dart, Chairman Emeritus Community Relations Officer of Dart Bank.

“So much about him to look up to,” Dart added.

Threadgould is survived by his wife of 41 years, Suzanne; son and daughter-in-law, Philip and Melissa Threadgould; daughter, Tiffany Threadgould; sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Lewis Wells; and two grandchildren Marina and Anderson Threadgould.

Memorial gifts may be made in Threadgould’s memory to the First Presbyterian Church of Mason at 131 E. Maple St., Mason, MI 48854 or The Michigan 4-H Foundation 240 Spartan Way East Lansing, MI 48823.

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