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John Alfred “Mike” Early, 88, passed away at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado on August 20, 2022. His final days were spent doing what he loved most: being with his family and friends and telling stories. With his wife and family by his side, Mike left this world covered in love.

Mike was born on June 15, 1934, at his family home in Baring, Missouri and was the oldest of eight children born to Donald Lawrence “Bill” Early and Mary Agnes Delaney Early. Although his parents planned to call him John, his grandmother decided she would call him Mike and it stuck.

Growing up on the farm as the eldest child, Mike was always an old soul. Even then he was curious and enjoyed listening to adults tell stories and teach him new things. He loved music and as a young adult could be found singing at local events. Later in life, he continued to enjoy playing the piano, as well as walking his dog, sipping Bushmills Irish whiskey, eating a good meal and being surrounded by people. He was notorious for looking dapper and teaching young children things that made their parents cringe. Mike loved to tease people and a found a friend everywhere he went. He took great pride in his heritage and his family.

On July 31, 1971, Mike married Karen Snyder of Kirksville, who survives of the home. Other survivors include his eight children, five from a marriage on May 10, 1952, to Patricia Givens that include Michael (Mary Carol) Early of Kirksville, MO; Debi (Jim) Kavanaugh of Ashland, MO; Sue Ellen (Doug) May of Jefferson City, MO; Pat (Jeff) Carter of Arlington, TX; John Early of St. Louis. Other surviving cahildren include Robin (Tom) May of Columbia, MO; Kelley (Robert) Christian of Colorado Springs, CO; and Shawn (Veronica) Early, of Colorado Springs, CO.

He also leaves behind 24 grandchildren: Amanda (Todd) Bobzien. Allison (Andrew) Farwell, Sara (Ryan) Sedlak, Andrew (Autumn) Early, Lissy Early, Kaitlin (Zane) Taylor, Caroline (Jared) Brawner, Molly (Brad) Groening, Emily (Stacy) Kavanaugh Salter, Abby Kavanaugh (Nathan Beach), Niki (Shaun) Wieman, Lucy (Frank) Reardon, Luke Carter, Maddi Carter, Will Carter, Madison May (Kyle) Wolf, Matt May, Dylan Trujillo (Joleena Hobden), Collin Trujillo, Makenzey Trujillo, Tate Christian, Ava Christian, Harrison Early, and Savannah Early and 38 great-grandchildren.

He is also survived his sisters, Susie Cahalan, Kay (Ken) Montague, and Betty Jo (Brad Griffith) Early; sisters-in-law, Janet Snyder and Linda Early; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death his parents; by an infant sister, Peggy; and three brothers, Patrick, Dick, and Bill.

Mike graduated from Baring High School in 1952 and began his career as a farmer, as well as serving as a member of the Army National Guard. He then worked for the US Post Office and the ASCS office in Edina, Lancaster and Macon. This led to his appointment as the US Department of Agriculture County Agent in Kansas City. Mike later returned to Kirksville and owned and operated Early Real Estate and Mortgage. Eventually he moved to Colorado, launched the TJ Cinnamon Franchise, and continued to expand his career into land appraisal and insurance – which eventually led him to Piedmont Financial – of which he was a successful proprietor until his passing. He valued his business relationships and the network of people who entrusted him with their financial investments.

Mike loved being a part of the communities of Edina and Baring where he grew up. Later in life, he enjoyed returning there and spending time at his cabin at The Baring Lake. He was generous in spirit and loved nothing more than gathering his family for a big meal that always included dessert.

Mike will be remembered with a Memorial Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Edina on Sept. 3 at 2 p.m. A celebration of life will follow at 4 p.m. at the Early family building on Main Street in Baring for all who would like to join.

The family suggests that any memorials in his name be made to The Baring Country Club and Pikes Peak Hospice and mailed Hudson- Rimer to 408 E Morgan, Edina, MO, 63537.