HARTLAND – The Rev. Earl J. Thaler, 76, died April 11, 2009, at his residence. He was born May 12, 1932, at Niagara Falls, N.Y., the first child of Simon and Ida (Price) Thaler. At age 12, his family moved to a farm in nearby Youngstown, where he organized Youngstown Frontiersmen 4-H Club and was involved in church and school activities. He graduated from Youngstown High School, Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1953 and from Concordia Theological Seminary in 1958. Earl served as a missionary to the deaf in all six of the New England states. During this time, he obtained a church building solely for the deaf, purchased a full sized school bus with S&H green stamps, organized a summer camp for deaf children, conducted Protestant religious classes at American School for the Deaf, West Hartford, Conn.; Austine School for the Deaf, Brattleboro, Vt.; Baxter School for the Deaf, Falmouth; Boston School for the Deaf, Randolph, Mass.; Horace Mann School for the Deaf, Roxbury, Mass.; and Crotched Mountain School for the Deaf, Peterborough, N.H. He provided interpreting and counseling services in schools for the deaf, hospitals and court rooms, and various other medical, legal or spiritual situations. Due to ill health, Earl moved to Maine in 1972 and operated businesses in Pittsfield until his retirement in 1996. He was active in Grace Linn Memorial United Methodist Church, was involved in the Sunday school program, Vacation Bible School and also taught a Monday evening Bible study class. He had preached in a number of United Methodist and Congregational churches throughout the area. He was a volunteer for Senior Companion Program of this area for many years. Recently, he had been a part of Federated Church of Skowhegan. He is survived by his significant other, Charles E. Jones of Hartland; and a brother, Darryl of Pennsylvania. He was predeceased by two brothers, Don and Mark; and a sister, Dorine. A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 15, at Federated Church of Skowhegan, Island Avenue, with the Rev. Mark Tanner officiating. Burial will be later in the spring at Fairview Cemetery, Canaan. Arrangements are by Crosby & Neal, Newport. Those who wish may sign an online guest register and leave written tributes at www.CrosbyNeal.com.