Earle E. Wellsfry, known as an avid body surfer, former Laguna Beach lifeguard and excellent waterman, passed into his Father’s presence on Dec. 16, 2010, after losing his nine-week battle with pancreatic cancer.
Earle was born on April 30, 1953, in Brazil on the mission field to Earlene and Eugene Wellsfry. He later attended Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School, where he was a four-year member of the swimming and water polo teams. After graduating in 1971, Wellsfry studied at Biola University and CSU Humboldt, graduating with a degree in biology and business. After college, he hitch-hiked throughout South America and later recounted eye-popping tales of narrowly escaping danger while traveling up the Amazon River.
Wellsfry’s passion was the ocean: diving, spear fishing, surfing, body surfing and sharing the magic of the seas. He was recognized as the big-wave rider of Crescent Bay, the cove where he grew up; for making 100 rescues from big surf during his eight years as a Laguna Beach lifeguard; and as one of the few body surfers willing to brave the Maverick’s surf break.
He moved his family to Laguna eight years ago, fulfilling a dream to return to the place he loved, and marking the fourth generation of the Wellsfry family in Laguna Beach.
His career, which involved computers, sales and real estate, also gave him the opportunity to invest in travel, people and his family.
Wellsfry leaves his wife, Laura, and their three children, Samuel Earle, 16, Sarah Joanne, 15, and Grace Earlene, 11; along with his brother John, sisters Anne and Joy, and a very large extended family and many friends.
Wellsfy’s desire was to serve Christ in his life and through his death, passing on the rich heritage from his family. He derived much comfort from his family and God’s Word in his final days. A verse of comfort to all of us is from Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Wellsfry’s bigger than life presence, his infectious laughter, passion for sharing the beauty of the ocean and God’s gift of living each day to the fullest will be so greatly missed.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m. at Mariner’s Church, Irvine in the Community Center.