A memorial service for Carlos Earl will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at the United Methodist Church in Las Animas, Colorado with Pastor Rod Coulter officiating. Inurnment will follow in the Bent/Las Animas Cemetery with military committal rites provided by V.F.W. Post #2411 and American Legion Post #6.
Following the inurnment, there will be a luncheon at the Las Animas VFW Post #2411 (318 3rd St Las Animas, CO 81054).
Carlos Raymond Earl was born December 6, 1948 to Raymond and Emma (Six) Earl and passed away at home on May 12, 2023 at the age of 74.
Carlos was born, raised, and was a lifelong resident of his beloved Las Animas, Colorado. He grew up on his family's farm outside of town where from a young age he helped his family with caring for their animals and other chores - it was through this work that he discovered a lifelong passion for animal husbandry and veterinary medicine.
Carlos received his education in Las Animas beginning at a two-room schoolhouse where he first learned square dancing, and would attend Columbian, Melonfield, and the Old High School (Carlos’s graduating class was the last class to graduate from the Old High School). Throughout his time in school, Carlos participated in 4-H where he continued to hone his skills as a square dancer and would go on to attend the State Contest with his team four times.
Carlos had hoped to attend college to study agriculture but in 1969, knowing that he would soon be drafted to go to Vietnam, he enlisted in the Army where he was trained as a medic. He spent one year in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division. While in Vietnam, he worked as a field surgeon at a forward operating base and later as a medic in the field. Carlos’s efforts saved the lives and eased the suffering of numerous US and Allied servicemen. While in Vietnam, Carlos participated in America’s invasion of Cambodia which was a closely guarded secret at the time.
After finishing his tour in Vietnam, he served at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs where he worked in Search and Rescue operations.
One of Carlos’s most notable rescues was on February 11th, 1975, when a plane carrying two couples crashed in Eagles Nest, New Mexico, killing the men and leaving the women injured. Carlos and a colleague flew to the crash site in a military helicopter and jumped from the helicopter skids into waist deep snow. Making their way through the snow they eventually found the plane after less than an hour of searching. After finding the woman and rendezvousing with a ground team around 10:30 p.m. they began making their way down the mountain. Nearing the halfway point, one of the rescuers collapsed from exhaustion so Carlos and his colleagues made camp. After warming up, they continued down, arriving at waiting ambulances at 5:30 a.m. the next morning. With the operation complete, the rescuers were taken to the Eagles Nest ski area for breakfast but Carlos remarked, “I was so tired I couldn't eat.”
After seven years of service, he was honorably discharged from the Army. During his time in the Army, he was awarded a Bronze Star, the Vietnam Service medal with three bronze service stars, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Combat Medical Badge, and an Army Commendation.
After the Army, he spent his career working at Fort Lyon VA Medical Center first as a Licensed Practical Nurse and then as a firefighter. As a veteran, Carlos understood what his patients were going through helping him to form trusting relationships with the veterans he worked with.
Carlos also worked at the Arkansas Valley Co-Op, Lamar’s H. Manning Company, NeoPlan USA, and the Bent Conservation District.
Carlos dedicated his life to serving the Arkansas Valley community. For twenty years he served as a volunteer firefighter for Las Animas until health issues forced him to retire and later served on the board of the The Bent County District Fire and Ambulance Board. Square dancing was another way that Carlos gave back, spending twenty-eight years coaching and calling square dancing for 4-H and the Santa Fe Trail Days square dancing competition. In 2010 Carlos was recognized at the 75th Annual Santa Fe Trail Day for a lifetime of dedicated service as a square dance caller and in 1990 Carlos was awarded the Outstanding Citizen Award at the Santa Fe Trail Days.
A devoted father and grandfather, he loved spending time with his family. In his free time, he enjoyed time with friends, hunting, fishing, skeet shooting, landscaping in his yard (one summer he won Las Animas yard of the month), and could always be found on his porch watching the Denver Broncos or old Westerns with one of his trusty dogs at his side.
Carlos embodied the values of service, kindness, and friendship, and believed in treating everyone he encountered with respect.
He is survived by his wife, Louise Earl; daughters, Julie Eck and her husband, Darrin of La Junta, CO, Jodi Rasmussen and her husband, Brett of Estes Park, CO, Jayne Thompson and her husband, Brady of Haviland, KS; stepchildren, Lorie Moreno Roch and her husband, Steve of Louisville, CO, Ron Moreno of Grand Junction, CO; and ten grandchildren, Shelby and Jadann Eck, Heath, Hailey and Hadlee Rasmussen, Emma, and Hunter Thompson, and Tyger, Christian, and Lincoln Roch.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond Earl and Emma (Six) Earl Voss; stepfather, Charlie Voss; sister, Claudia Thompson; and grandson, Samuel Roch.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Las Animas Fire Department in care of Horber Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 431, Las Animas, CO 81054.
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