Born 10/17/1927 in Bethel, OR and passed away 7/14/2008 in University Place, WA.
Beloved father, grandfather and great grandfather died peacefully on July 14th. He was comforted through his final, difficult weeks by many family members and friends.
Richard Loren Sears was born October 17th, 1927 in McCoy, Oregon to Thomas Loren and Blanche Odessa Sears. He is the third of four children: Mary Lou Spencer, Charles Sears, and Margaret Jean Buckley. He married Marjorie J. Maier and is survived by his three children Linda Sears, Loren Sears, Gerald Sears and granddaughter Shawna Behrens, great-grandson Ellis Adam Behrens.
Richard (Dick) grew up a country boy on the Sears farm just outside of Bethel, Oregon. In 1945 Richard graduated from Gates High School. He served in the US Navy from 1945-1948 and the US Air Force from 1951-1953. Richard earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Oregon State University. Later in 1960, he continued his graduate studies at the University of Washington’s Masters Program in Aeronautical Engineering.
Richard began his career at the Boeing Company in 1953 on the B-52 Program where he was a flight test engineer. He also led operations for various commercial aircrafts until 1970. Later that year, Richard became the lead flight test engineer for Lockheed L-1011. He retired from Lockheed in 1980 and returned to Boeing before retiring in 1990. He came out of retirement to work for D. Howard in San Antonio and later Aviation Partners of Seattle, where the patent for the Winglet certification program was established.
Richard (Dick) was an avid reader, everything from Walt Disney Kids Classics to Aviation Literature. Richard loved the outdoors, wildlife, traveling, sports, collecting Studebakers, helping those less fortunate and, of course, aviation and flying. He also had a competitive spirit and loved boat, planes and auto racing. Richard also participated in Boeing softball, basketball, and bowling leagues. At his home in Eatonville, he enjoyed visits from the deer family that he would photograph in his yard and the homecoming welcome he’d get from the cats that adopted him.
Most recently, he traveled to various states searching for data to complete the genealogy charts for the Sears family tree. He took great pleasure sharing this hobby with his brother Charles and nephew Bruce to share with family members at annual Sears’s family reunions.
Richard was known for his bright smile, outgoing personality, his sincere interest in the well being of others, and his encouragement to others to pursue their passions in life. Richard will be dearly missed by many and will live on in the memories of all.
The memorial service is set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24th at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA. 18600 S.E. 240th St. A reception will follow at Elk Run Golf Course and Country Club. 22500 S.E. 275th PL, Maple Valley, WA. In lieu of flowers please send donation to the American Cancer Society.
Arrangements by Edwards Memorial Center 253-566-1008.