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SEARS, RAYMOND ("RAY SEARS") A., SR, (RETIRED US MARINE CORPS COLONEL) - the essence of a Tennessee Volunteer, he was a loyal and trusted friend, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather. He was a "Ramblin' Wreck", died-in-the-wool US Marine, and always the challenger who asked for more, better, whenever and wherever it was needed, passed away on July 3, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Helen Keough Sears; his children, Patricia M. Sears (Steven Mason), Andrea C. Winter (Michael), Marilyn A. Swyers (Peter), Raymond A. Sears Jr. (Karla), Timothy F. Sears (Kimberley); and their mother, Kathryn C. Sears; his grandchildren, Michael Claudio, Lauren Claudio, Justin Mason, Courtney Miernicki (Christopher), Sarah Swyers Parker (Brett), Melissa Pischl (Dan), Caitlin Winter, Zachary Winter, Timothy Winter, Matthew Sears, Riley Sears, Mallory Sears and Rhys Sears, Andrew Sears, Liam Sears; his great grandchildren, Christopher Miernicki III, Lucas Pischl, Michael Miernicki, Eleanor Parker; Helen's children, William S. Weathers Jr. (Elizabeth), Frank E Weathers (Julienne), and Katherine G. Weathers; her grandchildren, Martin Weathers, Nathan Weathers, Emily Weathers, Scott Weathers; and his sisters-in-law, Peggy Reich, Mary Whittemore (Terry), and Frances Guy (James). Born in Brooklyn, NY, on August 29, 1928, Ray Sears never quite lost his New York attitude. His mother, Margaret Callahan Sears, was first generation Irish and his father, Andrew M Sears, hailed from Brooklyn. As a master plumber, Andrew's work took him from NY to Birmingham, AL, where he was recruited to work in Oak Ridge, TN, on the Manhattan Project. Margaret also worked in the facility while Ray and his sister, Marilyn I. Sears, attended Oak Ridge High School ('44 - '48). His nickname was "Red" on the high school football team. Ray's father, mother and sister pre-deceased him. Directly after graduating from Oak Ridge High School in 1946, at the age 17, Col. Sears enlisted in the Marine Corps and began a 42 year career where he earned several medals, Good Conduct Medal, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal in service to his country. Ray attended the Georgia Institute of Technology and graduated in 1954 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. He was the project manager for the A6E-Intruder when he worked at Grumman Aircraft on Long Island. Over the years he worked on the F18, A10, and other jets at various corporations. In 1993, he retired from General Electric (Knoxville). Ray Sears's commitment to volunteering as coach, Bingo caller, chaperone, genealogist (for his family and researcher for East Tennessee Historical Society) exemplified his generous spirit of giving. He is known throughout the state of Tennessee as a gifted genealogist serving as assistant editor of Tennessee Ancestors and researching contributor to First Families of Tennessee. The latest genealogical goal he achieved was the completion of his own Sears family tree, proving ancestry to the American Revolutionary War. Heartfelt thanks are extended to the staff of Ben Atchley Veterans Home for their excellent medical treatment and dedicated loving care to Ray and to Helen during the last few years. Extremely patriotic in thought, word, and deed, he requested his burial at East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Knoxville. While the world is different with Ray Sears passing away, through his family and friends there is a legacy of so many that have been touched and whose lives will carry on his spirit and his energy. Semper Fi. Calling hours will be Tuesday, 8 July, 2014, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Click Funeral Home Middlebrook Chapel. Funeral Mass will be held at 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 9 July, 2014, at All Saints Catholic Church, 620 North Cedar Bluff Road Knoxville. Graveside services with full-military honors, including a 21-gun salute, will follow at 1.30 p.m., Wednesday, at the East Tennessee Veteran's Cemetery, 2200 East Governor John Sevier Hwy. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the East Tennessee Historical Society ( P.O. Box 1629, Knoxville, TN 37901, or to Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration ( Random Station Building 2, Suite 320, 290 King of Prussia Road, Random, PA 19087. Click Funeral Home Middlebrook Chapel, 9020 Middlebrook Pike is serving the Sears family.
Funeral Home
Click Funeral Home & Cremations
9020 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, TN 37923
(865) 694-3500
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from July 6 to July 7, 2014
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