Judge Thomas A. Early, Jr. Passes Away After Brief Illness

Thomas A. Early, Jr. passed away on October 30, 2018, after a month-long battle with illness. Born in New Orleans, LA. on June 10, 1931, he was the youngest of eight children.

Thomas graduated from Jesuit High School in 1950 where he was elected Student Body President. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1954 where he was elected President of the Student Body (President of the Yard). Following graduation, he served his country as a First Lieutenant in the 42nd Army Infantry Battalion and was stationed in Mainz, Germany from 1954-1956. After returning home, and while teaching English and coaching the Debate Team at Holy Cross High School, he obtained a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola University School of Law. Thomas practiced law with the firm of Hooper, Schmidt, and Early. In 1962, he was elected as a Louisiana State Representative for the district encompassing the French Quarter, Treme, and Bayou St. John. In 1969, he was appointed by Governor John McKeithen to serve as a Judge on the bench at Civil District Court. Judge Thomas Early was then elected to the bench and served four terms. Throughout his life, he never lost an election.

Among Thomas’ passions were owning, breeding, and racing thoroughbred horses. He served on the LTBA Board of Directors from 1975-1980. He owned Triple E Farm in Covington. LA.

He was also an avid fan of all sports – especially baseball. He had a strong belief in and respect for learning and academics which he instilled and fostered in his children and grandchildren. His quick wit, sage advice, humor, and booming voice will be sorely missed by his family and all those he helped over the course of his life. He was a Champion for the Cause of all working people. Special thanks to Cathy Snee, Rosalind Carey, Tom Garic, and Dick Callais.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Betty Franek Early; his parents, Thomas A. Early, Sr. and Rose Parillo Early; and six siblings, J. Michael Early (Leah), Clare Early Rosenmeier (Wilfred), J.D. Early (Marguerite), Margaret Early Durel (Homer), Rosemary Early Ward (Kenneth), and Patricia Early Sipos. He is survived by his three children, Amy Early Korte (Rick), Sean P. Early (Janie), and Erin Early Belleau (Chris); his sister, Jacqueline Early Garic (Bob); and his grandchildren, Ryan and Quinlan Early (Leslie), Charles, Weston, Austin, Kaily, and Holly Belleau, and Kami Korte.