Richard D. Stearns

Richard D. Stearns, 56, of Kingston Township, died Monday, April 8, 2013, in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Born in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Rich was a son of the late Jack Wesley and Emma Blythe Stearns. He was a 1975 graduate of New London High School, New London, Iowa.

After graduation, Rich enlisted in the U.S. Army where he met his wife, the former Deborah Dennis, joining her in Pennsylvania after his tour of duty.

He previously had been employed by the former Techneglas Inc. of Pittston and more recently worked for L. T. Verrastro Inc., Old Forge.

Rich enjoyed slot car racing and NASCAR. A sports enthusiast, he remained true to his Iowa Hawkeyes, supporting all Hawkeye athletics. He shared his love of sports with his daughters, coaching their softball team and officiating games. He was active as an umpire for many different leagues and also would referee basketball.

His greatest joy, however, was his grandson, Casey. He was in his glory and would spend much of his time during the fall and winter months on the football field, running chains for his grandson's games.

Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were his sister, Florence Hallowell, and numerous aunts and uncles.

Surviving are his wife of 35 years, Deborah Stearns, Kingston Township; daughters, Joey Lyn Stearns, Kingston Township, and Pebbles Whalen and husband, Brian, Shavertown; grandson, Casey Whalen, Shavertown; sisters, Virginia Hill, Patricia Nolte and Shelley Bechtel and husband, Christopher, all of Iowa; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. from the Harold C. Snowdon Funeral Home Inc., 140 N. Main St., Shavertown. The Rev. Anne M. Emery, pastor of Wyoming Valley Presbyterian Church, Wilkes-Barre, will officiate. Interment with military honors will follow in Memorial Shrine Park, Carverton. Friends may call today from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Published in Times Leader on Apr. 12, 2013