BARNES, WI (February 13, 2012) – A funeral service for retired Evangelical Covenant Church chaplain Earl Towner, 70, was conducted at Barnes Community Church on Saturday. He died Wednesday.
Towner was born May 28, 1941. He married Lynette Peterson on June 21, 1964.
He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and graduated from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul. He served pastor as pastor at First Covenant Church in Worthington, Minnesota, and Lund Covenant Church in Wisconsin. In 1979, he was commissioned as a U.S. Army chaplain, serving at Ft. Riley, Kansas, and at Ft. Richardson, Alaska, until he retired with 24 years of service in 2001.
He was awarded the Legion of Merit Award, which is the highest award given during peacetime and is approved by the U.S. Congress. He also received the Alaska Legion of Merit Award, approved by the Alaska Legislature; the Alaska Commendation medal; and the Minute Man award for outstanding leadership as the STARC Chaplain for the State of Alaska Army National Guard. Following his retirement, he worked as the Alaska Veteran’s Administration chaplain helping homeless veterans with substance addictions.
After being diagnosed in 2002 with Alzheimer’s, he moved from Anchorage, Alaska, to Barnes, Wisconsin, in order to participate in research studies with Mayo Clinic.
In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Beth Towner and Karri Bouma, and two sons, Kirk Towner and Brett Towner.