Earl Colebank
Jean and Earl Colebank in
August of 1944
Mugging for the camera in
August, 1944
Earl on the trike with brother Donald behind him
L to R: Pearl Colebank, unknown, Earl
Colebank - May 30, 1949
The Frank and Nellie Colebank family: Front: Donald's
daughter Margaret and son Robert. Back row, L to R:
Lois Colebank Erwin, Lloyd Colebank, Frank Colebank,
Earl Colebank, Nellie Colebank, Donald's wife Merle
and Donald Colebank
Earl Richard Colebank was born in Madelia, Minnesota on
November 19, 1921 to Frank and Nellie McLaughlin Colebank.
He attended school in Madelia, graduating from high school
in 1939. Earl married Jean Lodes December 25, 1945 in St.
Mary’s Catholic Church in Madelia. Jean was born March 13,
1926 in Madelia. She was the daughter of Joseph and Morna
MacLeavitt Lodes.
Earl and Jean farmed and lived on Earl’s grandfather’s (Elett
Colebank) farm 5 ½ miles south of Madelia in Fieldon
Township until a fire destroyed the house late in the summer
of 1955. Earl moved into town and continued to farm until the
farm was sold in 1962. He then went to work in the Tony
Downs plant in Madelia as a boiler engineer. Earl and Jean
purchased and began managing the Noonan Hotel and Care
in 1972. They sold the business four years later. Earl then
moved to New Ulm, Minnesota where he was a boiler
engineer for the Kraft Company.
Earl was long and lean and drew a resemblance to Abraham
Lincoln, especially with a beard. He portrayed Abe Lincoln in
two local pageants. Earl’s favorite hobby was reading.
Earl attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Air Force
during WWII. He was a navigator/bombardier and served in
England from 1943 to 1944. He said this about his service: “I’
m not proud of the job I had to do, but I am proud to have
served our country.”
Earl died in December of 1980 at the age of 59 in the Madelia
Community Hospital  of emphysema, a disease he acquired
after years of cigarette smoking and working around toxic
fumes as a boiler engineer.  Jean died two years and two
months later in February of 1983 at age 56 of a relapse of a
cancer she had been cured of 23 years earlier. Both Earl and
Jean are buried in Calvary Cemetery in Madelia.

The children of Earl and Jean were:

Candace Christine Colebank – born July 7, 1953 in Mankato,
Minnesota. She married Douglas Fenske and they reside in
Madelia, Minnesota. They have 3 children.

William Joseph Colebank – born January 24, 1955. He
married Darla Susan Fredrickson on July 8, 1978. He lives in
Hanska, Minnesota.

Constance Kay Colebank – born September 23, 1956 in
Mankato, Minnesota. She married Robert Bartl and they had
two children. Robert passed away August 1, 1987 and
Connie married Alan Luthi in 1992. They live in Apple Valley,

Cynthia Lou Colebank – born August 5, 1957 in Mankato,
Minnesota. She married Donald E. Brietbarth and they had
two children. They later divorced and Cynthia married Tom
Chatleain. They reside in Madison Lake, Minnesota.

James Gerard Colebank – born March 30, 1959 in Mankato,
Minnesota. He married Barbara _________.

Copied with permission from “From Whence Came the
Colebanks” by Warren Colebank, copyright 1989, p. 115.