Walter Charles Gear
1945 - 2019
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October 5, 1945 ˜ September 14, 2019

It is with heartbreaking sorrow that we announce that Walter Charles Gear, our dear husband, father and grandfather has passed away at the age of 73. Walter passed away at home surrounded by family on September 14, 2019. Walt had survived with Parkinson’s since his diagnosis in 2004. He fought a good fight, but in the end pneumonia, Parkinson’s and abdominal surgery were just too much for him.
Walter Charles (Sykes) Gear was born in Vancouver, WA on October 5th, 1945 to Walter George and Helen (Sanderson) Sykes. Prior to Walters’s birth, his father, Walter George did not survive when his P-38 Lightning plane went down in the Pacific Ocean in August 1945 in WWII. In his early years, Walter Charles was raised by his mother, aunt and grandparents. Around 3 years of age, Walter’s mother remarried William Gear who adopted Walter Charles.
Walter attended Hazel Dell Elementary where he walked across Highway 99, through fields and along a creek each day to get to and from school. He played baseball for Hazel Dell Little League and then Senior League, making All-Stars. He attended Mac Loughlin Junior High and Fort Vancouver High where he played on the baseball team. He graduated from Fort Vancouver High in 1963 and graduated from Clark College with an Associates in Forestry in 1965. He was a member of the Clark Bowling Team.
Walter also attended Portland State University.
Walter met Randye Leichner in 1966 during a neighborhood game of baseball. They began dating and were married on June 13, 1970.
Walter and his best friend, Jerry, built a house for Walt, Randye and their future family in the Lincoln area. They resided there for 5 years during which they saw the birth of their 3 children, Desirae, Derek and Damon. Walter built another house for his family in the Felida area which they moved into in January of 1976. As the children grew up, the house was filled with lots of laughter, music, sleepovers, and dancing. Friday night pizza nights were a regular occurrence.
He worked for the United States Postal Service from 1972 until 2009 for a total of 37 years. He started as a clerk and was later promoted to Lead Trainer.
Walter started playing slow pitch softball around 1971. He also was active in bowling leagues. He played recreational basketball at the local gym. He played basketball out in front of his house for decades with family and neighbor kids. He helped build, mow and maintain a baseball field next to his house so all the neighborhood kids could play. He helped turn it into a football field in the winter. He was very involved with helping with Hazel Dell Little League whether it be with coaching, umping, keeping score or helping with grounds keeping. He played slow pitch softball from 1971 until 2004 when he was diagnosed with Parkinsons.
Walter was a stable and dependable husband, father and grandfather. He loved being around his family. He was very involved and hands-on with all his children’s activities and sports.
As a Grandfather, he loved holding them as babies. As they grew, he loved to attend their activities and sporting events. Walter was a solid, loving father-figure who was always there for his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Randye; children, Desirae Brown (Mark), Derek Gear (Tamara) and Damon Gear; grandchildren, Torey Jones, Tawna Jones, Orion Gear, Parker Gear and Lexi Gear; siblings, Sandra Allen, Cindi Fleener and Steven Gear.
For viewing times, please see the Evergreen Memorial Garden’s Website.
Services will be at Evergreen Memorial Gardens on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 12:30 P.M.
Please sign his guest book @

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Columbian on Sep. 25, 2019.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
September 28, 2019
Walt was such a pleasant person to be around... he had a great perspective on the corporate culture... well aware of shortcomings of power players, mildly disgusted with petty injustices, but overall positive and encouraging to trainees he worked with. A great inspiration to me in my career and a good man to have as a friend. His memory will live on with the many whose lives he touched.
Jon Lamoreaux
September 27, 2019
To Randye and family,
My heart goes out to you. I had just met you and now you are gone. What a beautiful relationship you had in this world."Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which are in Heaven". Aunt Edith has this verse in her house and I always love it. Now Walter has his place in Heaven. Thank you Randye and take care of those beautiful grandchildren.
From Walter's 2nd cousins Ginny McGavin and Jerry Nonis
September 27, 2019
What an honor to know Walter Gear. Walter was so kind. Condolences to Rhande and all the family
Nola Koch
September 27, 2019
My condolences to Randy and her family. Walt will be missed deeply. He was a dear friend and co-worker who could always be found helping others with their training. Walt and I worked on many scheme changes together and from those we had great stories to tell. I along with other Postal Family members will miss him deeply.
Gary (Gabby) Pollard
September 26, 2019
Sorry that Walt has left us. Haven't seen him for over 50 years but fondly remember going to FVHS and Clark College with him; we were on bowling teams together...
Dick Showalter
September 26, 2019
I am sorry to hear of Walt's passing. I had emailed with him a few times over the years and remember meeting him when I was a kid. My grandmother was Louise Sykes and she always kept Walt and the family close.
Elisabeth Sykes-Sofianos
September 25, 2019
I had the great pleasure of knowing Walt when we worked at the main post office. He was such a great guy, always had a smile on his face and always helpful. Such a great person. Abel Ponce
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