Celebrating Canton Seniors: Earl

May is Older Americans Month, a time to acknowledge the lives and contributions of seniors around the United States. The library is proud to present biographies of several Canton seniors this month. Stop by each week in May to learn more about these fantastic Canton residents.

Music and art have always played an important role in Canton resident Earl's life. Earl is a first generation Swedish American whose parents immigrated to the United States just before he was born. He has a lifelong love of music, learning at a young age to play the violin in grade school and continuing to play through high school. Earl recalls a time in his life when he participated in the school orchestra as well as the Scandinavian Symphony in Detroit, both of which were important influences in his music career.

After high school, Earl joined the Merchant Marines and was assigned to a ship with a captain who loved music, so he entertained the crew with his violin. Once he began sailing around the world, he had to send his violin home for safe keeping. Earl returned to the United States and his violin after his service to play with several symphonies throughout his life including ones in Redford, Dearborn, Plymouth, Allen Park and Livonia. He recalls joining a symphony in Traverse City, but spent more time digging his way out of snow than playing. Earl generously shares his talents by continuing to play music for the residents of his senior community every week with fellow musician and resident, Michele.  

Also a talented artist, Earl studied art in Detroit and worked as an illustrator for Ford Motor Company before taking over his father’s tool and die shop. He continues to illustrate and paint and has had his art displayed in shows at his senior community.