American Patriotic 10

Hugh J. Early

November 1, 1925 ~ January 24, 2020 (age 94)


     Canton – Hugh Junior Early, 94, passed away on Friday, January 24, 2020 at Spicewood Cottages.

     Hugh Junior Early was born November 1, 1925, to Ethel Rogers Early and Hugh Robert Early but was raised by his maternal grandparents, Oscar Sherman and Sally Cooper Rogers in the Stamey Cove community of Canton. “Papa Rogers” was influential in formulating the faith and character of Hugh, and he expressed gratitude for Oscar and Sally all his life. Hugh is survived by his wife of 72 years, Jennie Mae Medford Early (“the prettiest girl I ever saw”), one daughter, Dr. Darlene Early Leatherwood (“Sister”), one daughter-in-law, Martha Worley Early, six grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren, and a treasured brother-in-law, T. P. Fletcher. Hugh was preceded in death by two sons, Thomas Marshall Early and Richard Medford Early, and one grandchild, Michael Lee Early.

      At 17, Hugh enlisted in the US Navy and served aboard the minesweeper US Gamble, and after its demise, the US Oakland. (December 24, 1943 - April 3, 1946). At the close of the war, Hugh returned to his home, met and married Jennie, and delighted in raising a family of his own. Hugh worked at Champion Paper Company for 40 years, first as a machine tender on 13-14 paper machines and later as a supervisor over the same department.

       Hugh came to know Christ as Savior early in life and experienced a close relationship with the Lord throughout his life. He was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and Sunday School teacher for 57 years. Hugh was an honorable man of remarkable integrity, generosity, kindness and a powerful prayer warrior. In addition to serving his church, Hugh served his community as a volunteer with the North Canton Fire Department for over 13 years, serving a key role in building the new fire department and upgrading equipment. 

      For the family, Hugh was the anchor-man, filled with wisdom and spiritual strength. His children turned to him with any need and found him ready and willing to help in any way. Hugh was an avid gardener, sharing his produce with family and friends. The family rejoices in their memories of Hugh’s life, the assurance he walks with Jesus and his departed family members, and deeply mourn his loss.

     Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 in the Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with the Reverend John Swanger officiating.  Burial will follow at Oak Grove Baptist Church Cemetery.  The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 1:45 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.

     Memorials may be made to Oak Grove Baptist Church, 39 Robinson Road, Clyde, NC  28721.

     The care of Mr. Early has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at


To send flowers to Hugh's family, please visit our floral section.


January 28, 2020

12:30 PM to 1:45 PM
Wells Funeral Home of Canton
3715 Asheville Hwy.
Canton, NC 28716

Funeral Service
January 28, 2020

2:00 PM
Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home
3715 Asheville Hwy
Canton, NC 28716

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