Nature 23

Leonard Kenway Early

July 21, 1951 ~ August 26, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old


“When I get to heaven

I'm gonna shake God's hand

Thank Him for more blessings than one man can stand

Then I'm gonna get a guitar

And start a rock-n-roll band

Check into a swell hotel

Ain't the afterlife grand”

-John Prine


Len passed peacefully at home on August 26, 2023, at 72 years old, in Alexandria, Virginia. The family will welcome friends and loved ones on Friday, September 15th from 4pm - 8pm. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, September 16th at 2 pm. Both events will be held at Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Susan Lee Early, when their stars crossed on Labor Day, 1986 and began their adventurous life together. He is also survived by his brother Bruce Allen Early and his many daughters; Linda Kathleen “Kathie” Early, Devon Michelle (Scott) Richardson, Christine Anne (Matthew) McLean, Lee Ann Hallman, and Ashley Elaine Early. He was a grandfather, “PawPaw & TickTock” to seven grandchildren; Jonah Walker Fox, Robert Cullen Richardson, Weston Matthew McLean, Tierney Ann Richardson, Madelyn Christine McLean, Sage Lee Pollock and Lily Jane Pollock.

Len arrived on the planet on July 21,1951 in Cheverly, Maryland although he was assured by his father, William “Bill” Smith Early and his mother Helen Mae Dawson Early that he was made in Virginia. His early years were spent living with his grandmother, “Big Momma” Dorothy Jane Ashby, where she took in elderly folks. Raised in the wilds of Fauquier county, Virginia Len was enamored with the stories of the residents and the wisdom they imparted. There he met Della Jenkins who first taught him to play the guitar and the rest is history!

Even though his early years were in Fauquier county, he joined his parents in Alexandria where he began first grade. His love of learning was mainly outside traditional classroom walls. He was a dedicated self learner and eventually began working with his father, Bill, on the beautiful historic homes in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia which ignited in him a passion for local History, particularly the Civil War Era.

The family business was established in 1949 in Alexandria where Len worked with his father, Bill, and inherited the Gift of Gab as well as learning his father’s craft in the Old World Style. Len was able to expand upon the relationships that Bill established with prominent businesses and families in Old Town Alexandria and was sought out for his expertise in reclamation and preservation of historic properties.

A Master of his Craft, he practiced in the Old Town Alexandria community for over 50 years. He loved to work hard, build, create, play his guitars, study history and play with his Rhodesian Ridgebacks. He collected tools, coins, guitars and Civil War memorabilia. Len was a unique character in this world!!!

Len was preceded in death by his parents Helen Mae Hickman, William “Bill” Smith Early, his “Big Momma” Dorothy Jane Ashby, as well as his younger brother, Carlton Jacob Early.

“In spite of ourselves

We’ll end up a’sittin on a rainbow

Against all odds

Honey, we’re the big door prize

We’re gonna spite the noses

Right off of our Faces

There won’t be nothin’ but big old hearts

Dancin’ in our eyes.”

John Prine


Visitation - Friday, September, 15th from 4pm - 8pm

Funeral Services - Saturday, September, 16th at 2pm

Both events will be held at: Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home & Crematory

1500 W Braddock Rd

Alexandria, VA 2230

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leonard Kenway Early, please visit our floral store.


September 15, 2023

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home
1500 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22302

Funeral Service
September 16, 2023

2:00 PM
Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home
1500 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22302


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