Homegoing Celebration for the life and work of Dr. George Earl Hearn will be on Saturday, September18, 2010, at 11 a.m., in the First Baptist Church of Pineville, followed by burial in Greenwood Cemetery with U. S. Naval Military rites.
Hearn was born on September 21, 1926, to Thomas Watson Hearn, Sr., and May Peters Hearn who moved to Shreveport shortly afterward where he grew up in the old Queensboro Baptist Church and Caddo Parish Schools. Hearn joined the U. S. Navy to serve his country during World War II as a Signalman on war ships. Upon his return as a veteran, at the age of 18, he continued his education by completing his degrees at East Texas Baptist University, Southwestern Theological Seminary, and Baylor University. He obtained the bachelor, two masters, theology, and a doctoral degree and vast amounts of continuing education at the post doctoral level, always striving to learn more.
Hearn was impacted by the untimely death of his younger brother, Charles. He used his keen analytical mind to consider what was truly important in life and to focus his abilities and energies toward those being relationships to God, family, others, work and community. It was upon those decisions he based his whole life and work to honor God and encourage others to know how to tap into the riches and resources available to everyone who accepted Jesus as the atoning medium for a right relationship with God and receive the Holy Spirit as God's gift to indwell and direct day by day. He always had a heart for the underdog who was striving to improve as he himself had overcome many obstacles with God's help and grace.
Hearn did his doctoral studies with Dr. E. O. Wood of Baylor University as his mentor. Dr. Wood formerly chaired the Psychology Department of Louisiana College then went on to Baylor to develop one of the strongest psychology programs in the nation. Baylor Psychology Department was selected by the U. S. Government to direct research and experiments for the space program. Hearn was one of several who conducted those studies and experiments which were directly connected to the Space Program at NASA. Dr. G. Earl Guinn; late president of Louisiana College hired Hearn to come to Central Louisiana with the mission to develop the psychology department since psychology is the study of behavior of mankind and how that behavior affects the totality of life. Hearn utilized the expert brain power available at his disposal at Central State Hospital which at that time was among the biggest and finest mental facilities in the nation. He sought to arm his students with solid scientific knowledge, but also with the compassion and heart of God as they moved into the work world.
Hearn was an ordained minister and part of the "Shreveport Gang" - a loosely organized group of preacher boys who maintained friendships throughout life. He was also a member of the "Dirty Dozen" which was a group of fun-loving guys who still maintain their friendships although many have gone on to be with the Lord. We honor them and their widows for the contributions to the joy in the life of George Hearn.
Hearn was a member of the Louisiana Psychological Association and later was named to the Louisiana State Board of Examiners for Psychologists for the State of Louisiana. Hearn was named Chairman of the Board and was instrumental in restructuring and reorganizing that board. He was the first Industrial Psychologist in the State of Louisiana as moderator and/or mediator in various groups and organizations in this Central Louisiana area. He was recently named Psychologist Emeritus by the Louisiana Psychological Association.
Hearn was a frequent guest minister and served as interim pastor for many churches in the local area. He always appreciated the services of the church choir, therefore a volunteer choir will be singing at the service. Participants from any of the churches where he served or worshipped with are invited to sing. He was an active member of First Baptist Church of Pineville where he and his family belonged since the sixties. He always served in some capacity of the local church and frequently was involved in association and state work.
Hearn was active in the Dixie Boys and Youth Baseball programs where he served as coach and later Commissioner. He felt privileged to have served as All Star Coach during this time of his life. He was active in parent and citizen organizations frequently serving as Chair of special committees involving youth programs. One particularly satisfying effort was the revival of the baseball program at Pineville High School with a petition from the public calling for the hiring of a baseball coach (Ronnie Kaiser) and for the new team to be formed which has grown and become a powerhouse in the area.
Hearn was a supporter of the arts throughout his life although he himself never considered himself and artist of any sort, although he had a deep bass voice and loved to sing. He once was mistaken as George Hearn, the Canadian actor while he was in Toronto at a psychological meeting. He literally subsidized the Task Force for Children's Arts which was a special concern and interest of Gloria's as a way to wake up the public to the need for quality arts experiences for all children as a way to improve the quality of life for all. The Hearn Stage which is located in the Kress Building is so named because of the many contributions he made through the years to promote the arts for children and local arts groups. He was a patron of Rapides Symphony Orchestra for many years, particularly during the lean beginning years. He and Gloria hosted fundraising dinners and were fortunate to have the concert master give after dinner music because Robert Price, Concert Master was a childhood friend of hers.
Always civic minded, Hearn served on the Pineville City Council with the late Mayor Fred Baden and the City Council which had as their primary goal to have the city fiscally sound and progressive minded as a foundation for the present growth of the city and parish. He served on the Rapides Planning Commissions for a number of years and always encouraged citizens to be informed and active participants in their government regardless of party affiliation. He and Gloria both participated as candidates simply to encourage others to be involved and know that political involvement is necessary for our government to function properly.
Being a history major in earlier times, he was an avid reader and served as president of the Historical Association of Central Louisiana for at least a dozen years while he reorganized the board and structure which has continued into its present form. He was instrumental in many of the local preservation projects which have become well known in the local area. Local tours were the hallmark of his time as president along with the beginning of the Annual Peggy Bolton Lecture Series.
He never sought recognition for himself but rather for the group and others. His proudest accomplishments were as father and family man. He spent quality time with his children and family. He has many awards, citations, and recognitions never known even to his family. His main goal in life was to honor God and to encourage others to develop all their innate abilities for service as God directs them individually. He would want his homegoing to be a time and opportunity for folks to think about reconciliation, love and respect as paramount values in life.
He is survived by his wife, Gloria, who was still his sweetheart after 54 years of marriage. They were the proud parents of their daughter, Gail Hearn Smith, and their late son, George Eugene "Gene" Hearn.
Also surviving him are his son-in-law, Andrew Smith and granddaughters, Angela Gail Smith of New York City,
Published in The Town Talk from Sept. 14 to Sept. 17, 2010