JAMES GEARHART

GEARHART Ponte Vedra Beach Colonel (ret) James Johnston Gearhart, age 89, died peacefully at home May 20, 2013. Mr. Gearhart was born in Sewickley Township, PA. As a highly decorated career US Air Force pilot (37 years) Mr. Gearhart initially served in WW II and the Korean Conflict. He went on to two tours of duty in Vietnam, amassing over 250 air combat missions there alone. Returning to the Pentagon, Colonel Gearhart headed up research and development for many present day missile and combat air systems, including the Cruise Missile and B1 programs. Upon his military retirement he worked with McClean VA defense contractor BDM continuing his work with advanced technology, specifically in testing and evaluation of Rapid Runway Repair applications for NATO and US military bases. In retirement to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Mr. Gearhart was an avid golfer and tennis player, serving as a coordinator for many Northeast Florida USTA tennis teams. Mr. Gearhart and his late wife of 65 years, Mary Agnes, also enjoyed extensive travel both in their military lives and retirement. Mr. Gearhart is lovingly survived by three children: Patricia (husband Thomas Metz Jr., Boulder CO), Kathleen (husband Louis Pugliese, Staunton, VA), and James J. Gearhart Jr. of Ponte Vedra Beach FL. In addition Mr. Gearhart leaves behind one grandson, Thomas Metz lll (Santa Monica, CA) and many nieces and nephews and their families. A celebration of Life will be held Friday, May 31 at 11am at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Ponte Vedra FL. Final interment will be with military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations or gifts be given to the . Please visit our online Tribute at www.quinn-shalz.com. Services under the direction and care of: Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com

Funeral Home

Quinn-Shalz - A Family Funeral Home
3600 Third Street South Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
(904) 249-1100

Published in the Florida Times-Union on May 26, 2013