VFW Post 8870 lost another of our World War II veteran members when Earl Prebezac passed way on February 9 at the age of 94. Earl was buried at Mt. Tahoma National Cemetery on February 21, with full military honors provided by or local VFW Honor Guard.
Soldier, Teacher, and Actor
Earl was raised in St. Louis and dropped out of high school at the age of 16. With his parents’ permission, Earl attempted to join the Navy, but was discouraged by the recruiter because of his small stature. His next stop was at the Army recruiting center where he was accepted for service.
Because of his Slavic heritage and ability to speak Serbian and Croatian languages, Earl was selected for the Military Intelligence Service. Instead of utilizing Earl’s Slavic language skills however, he was assigned to Photo Interpretation.
The war began for Earl on D-Day plus 21 when his unit landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy. During the year and a half that he served in Europe, Earl received four battle stars for participating in combat operations in Normandy, Northern France, the Ardennes, and the Rhineland. Six months after Germany’s surrender, he returned to the United States on the hospital ship Larkspur, after contracting a heart infection.
Once he returned to the States, Earl took advantage of the G.I. Bill, completed a GED program, and started college at Oregon State University. He enrolled in an ROTC and while participating in a drama program at Oregon State, Earl met his future wife, Nann. They transferred to the University of Washington, where Nann became a Drama major and Earl majored in history.
Upon graduation, Earl was hired by the Seattle Public Schools to teach Civics and History at Roosevelt High School, a position he held for 33 years. Earl also served in the Army Reserves, retiring as a 1st Lieutenant, after 12 years of service. During his years at Roosevelt High School, Earl was also the manager of the historic Moore Theater in Seattle. Earl retired from teaching in 1986.
The Prebezac’s moved to Edmonds in 1953 where they raised four boys. Throughout their life together, they both maintained their love for drama. They were founding members of an Edmonds drama group that would become the Driftwood Players and over the years, participated in numerous dramatic productions. Earl leaves his wife, Nann, their four sons, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.