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Garnett Eugene "Bird" Earlywine

December 2, 1927 ~ November 22, 2021 (age 93)


Garnett Eugene “Bird” Earlywine, age 93 of Flemingsburg, passed away on Monday, November 22, 2021.

He was born December 2, 1927 in Soldier, KY to Sherman and Zella (Tackett) Earlywine.

Fondly known as “Bird”, he worked more than 38 years as a lineman for Fleming Mason RECC until his retirement in 1983. His passions included motorcycling, woodworking, bowling, water skiing and golf. He won several trophies in golf, including a hole-in-one. His golfing buddies were always quite amazed at his ball striking ability, especially with the long irons. After retiring from the RECC, he began a hobby of woodworking and over several years crafted many furniture items for his home and family members. He especially enjoyed working with ash wood and his finished products were always pristine. He even crafted his own slalom water ski and liked to “cut the rug”, as he would say, on the water. He enjoyed teaching others to ski and the list included many family members and also friends he would meet on boating outings. He even tried barefooting whenever someone, like Noel Story, would come along with a speed boat. As amazing as it seems, he water skied until his mid-80s.

Motorcycles were always a part of his life beginning with a Harley Davidson in the early 1950s and continuing through most of his life. He would frequently tell stories about riding while standing on the seat of the cycle and the time he crashed a motorcycle while traveling over 90 mph and walked away with only scratches and bruises! In addition to the motorcycles, he also enjoyed bicycling. He could be found rummaging through discarded bicycles and then restoring them to excellent working condition. Most all of the children and grandchildren in the family were recipients of a bicycle that he had restored.

His love for competition was also on full display when he participated on bowling teams. He bowled in leagues at the Aberdeen, OH bowling alley. Even with the disadvantage of having only two fingers and a thumb on his bowling hand, he excelled as one of the top bowlers in the league.

He was always very grateful for his service at the Fleming-Mason electrical coop, where he met some of his closest friends and co-workers. The years of employment would bring several harrowing experiences which is not uncommon for that line of work. One experience, which occurred in the summer of 1947, resulted in Bird coming in accidental contact with 7,200 volts of electricity. After making contact, he fell some 30 feet from the pole to the rocky ground below and lost consciousness. He was revived through artificial respiration by fellow employee, Frank Lewis, who was credited for saving his life. The incident eventually resulted in Bird losing the fore finger and little finger of his right hand.

After retirement, Bird and Iva (Fay), his wife for more than 61 years, would spend their winters in Florida. There they were able to relax in the Florida sun and enjoy golfing, bicycling, and visiting with their “snowbird” friends.

Preceded in death by his parents, Sherman and Zella Earlywine; son, Dr. Garnett Ray Earlywine; wife, Iva (Fay); and, Jewel (Doyle) his wife of 3 years; brothers, Leroy Earlywine and Bob Knopp; sister Kaye (Katy) Kennedy. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law Charlie and Cathy (Payne); daughter and son-in-law Marcella and Jim Conner; grandson Kerry Earlywine (Luz); grandson Lance Earlywine (Casey); grandson Ray Conley (Jennie); grandson Jere Earlywine (Rachel); granddaughter Carol Johnson (Tony); granddaughter Leigh Marlar (McKeever); and granddaughter Dana Conley (Adam Tooze); sister-in-law Juanita Knopp; sister Linda Baker (Tom); sister Margaret (Midge) Ellis; great grandchildren Brittany(Earlywine) Dougherty, Haley (Marlar) Sisk, Sage(Earlywine) Turner, McKinley Marlar, Talon Earlywine, Campbell Johnson, Colton Conley, MaKayla Conley, Trent Conley, Katie Conley, Ireland Earlywine and Aurora Earlywine; several great-great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, November 26, 2021, at Boone-Nickell Funeral Home. 

Bird will be privately laid to rest in the Fleming County Cemetery.

Friends may offer online condolences at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Garnett Eugene "Bird" Earlywine, please visit our floral store.


November 26, 2021

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Boone-Nickell Funeral Home
150 W. Water Street
Flemingsburg, KY 41041

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