James Early, age 70, of Morganton, North Carolina and formally of Marion, passed away on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at his residence.

The son of the late Harrison John Early and Mavis Smith Early, James was born in McDowell County, North Carolina on September 13, 1947. A proud veteran of the United States Army, James enjoyed spending time with family and friends and gardening. He attended Quaker Meadows Presbyterian Church in Morganton.

Left to cherish his memories are his two children, Catherine Reitzel and her husband, Charlie of Hildebran and Jonathan Early and his wife, Elizabeth of Clayton, North Carolina; one sister, Marsha Steel and her husband, George of Gastonia; six grandchildren; and his close friend and former wife, Linda Early.

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Beam Funeral Service in Marion with Rev. Leo Kuykendall officiating. Interment, with military honors provided by the United States Army, will follow at McDowell Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., prior to the service, at the funeral home. Beam Funeral Service & Crematory is assisting the Early family.

For further information and/or to sign the online guestbook, please visit our website,, or call 828-559-8111.

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