WALTER CHARLES GEAR
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 @ www.columbian.com/obits