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Henry Earl McLane

Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus

In Memorium: (1932 - 2022)

Memorial Notice
Henry Earl McLane Jr., "Earl," passed away at home in Williamsburg, Virginia on March 11, 2022. Earl was born on August 18, 1932 in Statesboro, Georgia to mother, Lillie Ora Beasley McLane and father, Henry Earl McLane Sr. After graduating from Wagener Consolidated High School in 1950, he attended George Washington University. Here, he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society and was awarded the prestigious Danforth Fellowship for his graduate study at Johns Hopkins University. He then earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University in 1962.

After teaching at Washburn University from 1960 to 1965, Earl joined the Philosophy department at the College of William and Mary. During his tenure at the College, he also coached the diving team for 12 years. Earl retired from William and Mary in 1996 after 31 years of inspiring students with his passion, curiosity, and never-ending search for truth. After retiring, he continued teaching for the Christopher Wren Adult Enrichment Program, including one of his most popular courses on St. Francis of Assisi.

Earl loved to read, was an accomplished violinist, had a deep love for animals, and was a faithful servant of the Lord. He was a member of Williamsburg Baptist Church where he enjoyed teaching Sunday school and singing in the choir. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Barbara "Bobbie" Gardner McLane; daughter, Debra Lynn Harvey; son, Dr. Shawn Creg McLane (Maryann); sister, Mary Frances Dawson; grandchildren, Christopher Harvey (Sarah), Brandon Harvey (Kella), Kyle Harvey (Amanda), Kalynn McLane, Craig McLane; and great grandchildren, Alexandria Harvey, Evelyn Harvey, and Clara Harvey.

A celebration of Earl's life was held at the Williamsburg Baptist Church on Saturday, April 9 at 10:00am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to Williamsburg Baptist Church or the Heritage Humane Society.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Sentara Hospice Services and Bayada Home Health Services for the loving care they provided.