R. Denning Gearhart
1951 - 2018
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R. Denning Gearhart, 67, of Clearfield died Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 at Penn Highlands Clearfield.

He was born July 17, 1951 in Clearfield, a son of Dorothy L. (Long) Byers of Clearfield and the late Oden D. Gearhart Jr.

Denning was a 1969 graduate of the Clearfield High School, where he served as senior class president. He then graduated in 1973 from Eisenhower College and started his volunteerism with the Peace Corps from 1973-1974.

Afterward, Denning enrolled and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Law School in 1977. Upon his graduation, he served as a law clerk for Judge John Reilly for one year. He successfully passed his board exams and started practicing law in Clearfield from 1978 until his retirement.

He was a life-long member of the St. John Lutheran Church, Clearfield. He was a past member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge No. 540, Clearfield, and served as a member and past president with both the Clearfield school board and the Clearfield Area Agency on Aging.

Denning served on the Easterseals Disability Services Board and won the Easterseals Gallantry Award in October of 1978. He also spear-headed projects for Americans with Disabilities.

He was a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and had a real joy for the Clearfield County Fair and politics. He was an active part of the Clearfield County political scene.

Baseball was near-and-dear to Denning, and he coached local senior league baseball. He was an ardent fan of his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates, traveling for over 20 years to watch spring training games in Bradenton, Fla.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by two children, Samuel D. Gearhart and his wife, Olivia and Lydia Gearhart; two brothers, Dan E. Gearhart and his wife, Betsy and William H. 'Willie' Gearhart and his wife, Gigi, both of Clearfield; two sisters, Betsy A. Guthrie and her husband, Randall of Mineral Springs and Carrol S. Davis and her husband, Gary of Spring Grove; a brother-in-law, Jim Graham of Aurora, Colo.; and a close friend, Dori Pickens.

In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by a sister, Sandra L. Graham; a niece, Jennifer Gearhart; a great-nephew, Jacob Guthrie; and a step-father, William Byers.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the St. John Lutheran Church, Clearfield, with the Rev. Robert J. Way officiating.

Friends will be received from 12 p.m. until the time of services at the church.

The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Easterseals Disability Services, Six Parkway Center, Suite 150, 875 Greentree Road Pittsburgh, PA 15220, and St. John Lutheran Church, 217 E. Pine St., Clearfield, PA 16830.

The Kevin A. Beardsley Funeral Home, Clearfield, is in charge of arrangements.

To sign the online guestbook, go to www.beardsleyfuneralhome.com.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Gant Daily from Dec. 12 to Dec. 15, 2018.
Memorial service
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10 entries
June 15, 2019
I just learned of Denning's death and am filled with sadness. Although I haven't seen him in years and we didn't keep in touch much anymore, he has always been a dear friend and has had a special place in my heart. Ion going through some of my stuff, I saw the brochure when he was running for judge. I met him in Indianapolis when he came and gave a talk for the CP Association many years ago. He was so funny, bright, and was honest. We became friends, kept in touch, visited each other , had many discussions, laughed a lot and played Scrabble both in person and later (even during the past year) on Words With Friends. He touched my life and I am blessed to have known him.
Kathi Niccum
December 28, 2018
From our family to yours; Denning was a blast from the beginning. Few did more with less because of his personality, drive and indomitable spirit for life. Overcoming obsticals is what brings the living to the threshold of dreams no matter what the odds are. The Mc Dowell family.
Jeff McDowell
December 15, 2018
On behalf of my brother Dan, please accept our condolences on your loss of a good man. The both of us remember Denny when he clerked for Dad when we were kids. He would chase us all around the courthouse and we would all laugh hysterically. He is well and truly missed.
Tom Reilly
December 15, 2018
Dear Family, please accept my condolences for the death of your loved one. May the God of all comfort strengthen you to endure and to recall the many wonderful times you spent with Denning.
December 14, 2018
It has been an honor and a pleasure to count you as a friend. We have known each other since the day in 1969 when we both arrived on the campus of Eisenhower College. I always marveled at your accomplishments and enjoyed your company. The many hours sitting in the Florida sun at spring training games are a memory that I will always treasure. RIP Doc I will miss you!!
December 13, 2018
Joy Smith
December 13, 2018
Denning was a very brave person. He handled his disability with a great deal of courage.
Robert Rishel
December 12, 2018
The world was a better and more just place because of you. Rest in Peace RD(Q)G!
Chuy Hu
December 12, 2018
Always enjoyed our times in Florida together. Loved reading the material Denning wrote. He was a brilliant man. Chris and Paul Lovizio
Paul and Chris Lovizio
December 12, 2018
Carol & family
Denning was a great,enjoyable man to be around. He will truly be mised. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. God Speed Buddy, see you on the other side.
Mark & Melanie Davis
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