Retired Berea College professor loved family, church, tennis
By Beverly Fortune of the Lexington Herald-Leader
Pat W. Wear, a longtime professor of education at Berea College, died Monday after a short illness. He was 93.
Born in Murray in 1915, he was the son of Boyd and Mary Hood Wear.
After serving in the Army during World War II, Mr. Wear went to Berea College in 1950 to fill a two-year vacancy while another professor was on leave. But Mr. Wear stayed on for 28 more, until he retired in 1980.
Mr. Wear had his doctorate in education from the University of Kentucky, but he never wanted to be addressed as "Dr. Wear," said his daughter Linda Blair. "He wanted to be called Pat. Even his grandchildren called him Pat."
Mr. Wear served as chairman of the college's education department and was a professor of elementary education and director of secondary student teaching. He continued to teach part-time after he retired.
Church, tennis and family were his three main loves, Blair said.
A member of First Christian Church of Berea, Mr. Wear served as an elder and taught Sunday School for more than 50 years, stepping down only last year. "And his class begged him not to stop," Blair chuckled.
He began playing tennis while an undergraduate at Murray State University and played until he was 90. "There was a core group of four who played at least twice a week," his daughter said. "He always said he would die happy if he would die on the tennis court. But he stopped three years ago. His legs just gave out."
Mr. Wear was famous for making a drop shot just over the net, catching his opponents by surprise. "It would kill them because they would be back in the back ready to volley. He could do a drop shot right till the last day he played," Blair said.
Survivors include Blair and son Pat Wear II of Florida, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Nedra Vannoy Wear.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the First Christian Church with burial in Berea Cemetery. Visitation is 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Reppert Funeral Home.
Published in Lexington Herald-Leader from Feb. 25 to Mar. 2, 2009