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Ambre, Earl

November 12, 1997
Phoenix, Arizona
A man of courage ... A man of commitment

Earl Ambre was born on April 24, 1929, the thirteenthand last child of Joseph and Jennie Ambre. After sharing and enjoying his early childhood with his twin sister, Earlene, he entered the seminary to pursue studies for the Roman Catholic priesthood. He was ordained on May 1, 1954, for the diocese of Rockford, Illinois. For fifteen years he served in the numerous parishes and schools where he distinguished himself by his hard work, dedication and courage to undertake new and bold initiatives in education, social justice and community effort.

In 1969, he entered the Peace Corps with Joan Hushek, and they were married in Jamaica on March 31, 1970, after receiving the necessary dispensations from Rome. Together, Earl and Joan served the Peace Corps in many of the islands of the Caribbean and in Lesotho and Botswana in Southern Africa. Again, he distinguished himself by his vision, courage, and. commitment to the peoples of the world. He finished his career at the U.S. Department of State where he built an outstanding program for retirement planning and career transition. At his own retirement he received tributes and praise from the foreign service community around the world.

Those who knew Earl well, knew that he never needed praise or recognition to motivate him. If he believed something was the right thing to do, he pressed on, regardless of resistance or opposition. But there were two accomplishments which he allowed himself to be proud of. One was the results of his efforts for the Knights of Columbus, Council 4522, of Arlington, Virginia. During his years of active membership and the direction of the Bingo Program, he raised funds to be used for many charitable projects and the expansion of the Council facilities. Even more than that, he felt his efforts were understood when he received the Lincoln Douglas Social Justice and Racial Equality Award for individual contribution to the Community of Freeport, Illinois during the 1960 Civil Rights Movement an award which was presented in 1992.

Unfortunately, his own retirement was cut short by illness, but even in sickness he demonstrated the same courage and commitment that marked his whole life. There is no doubt that he left his imprint on every person that knew him. The effects of his presence on this earth will be felt far into the next century. Truly, he has left the world on November 12, 1997, a better place for his having been here.

Peace be with you. Earl