1932 - 2016 Richard (Dick) Kimball Sears, 83, passed away peacefully on April 5, 2016 surrounded by loving family after a short illness prompted by multiple flesh wounds inflicted by angry neighbors who objected to his habit of wearing shorts and aloha shirts in the winter. Dick was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1932 to Elizabeth Josephine Kimball and Richard Frederick Sears. The family, motivated by the depression and WWII, moved several times during his childhood culminating in residence in Pasadena, California in 1943 and lasting until his first marriage in 1952. Having attended Occidental and Claremont McKenna Colleges, graduating from the latter Magna cum laude, with honors, in 1955, (Economics and Labor Relations majors), he was employed by Beckman Instruments for the next 14 years in progressively responsible positions in personnel administration. Later employers included Avery International, the Clorox Company, Fireman's Fund Insurance and the Irvine Company. In each of these, he lead in the introduction of practical, yet innovative, ways of developing and strengthening positive employer - employee relations and of introducing sound management practices. While enjoying success in the business world, Dick embraced a lifelong passion for surfing and for the ocean as a sailor and power boater. He had the good fortune of surfing during its evolution and "Golden Age" from 1947 to 1990. He sailed often to Catalina Island in the 1970s and in San Francisco bay in the 1980s. He culminated his passion for ocean sports on powerboats in the Santa Barbara Channel and in Canada. Dick embraced the concept of "flawless good governance" in local institutions, such as homeowner's associations in which he served two different associations shaping policies of openness and clear communication. He was also appointed to a one year term on the San Luis Obispo Grand Jury. At age 80, he was elected to the Session of Elders of his church, a post in which he was honored and humbled to serve. He was a gardener in the sense that he saw plants and floral displays, in general, as an important part of living. From his maternal grandmother, Jean, he inherited a love for begonias, planting them year after year in her memory. A divorcee, and later a widower, Dick met his present wife, Wanda, in 1995 and they were married three years later. Together, they have enjoyed many very good years together. In addition to Wanda, Dick is succeeded by his beloved children, Brad Sears, Wendy Ginsberg, Katharine Arrow and Kaylin Sears and his brother Fred Sears. His extended family includes Wanda's children Shelley Pineo and David Jahn for whom he has great fondness. The family is rounded out with eight grandchildren and three great-grandsons. A memorial service will be held at the Coastal Community Church of Grover Beach (1830 Farroll Road, Grover Beach, CA 93433) on May 14 at 2 PM. Family and friends are warmly invited to join in the celebration of Dick's life. A reception will follow at the church. All are welcome to wear aloha shirts. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dick's memory may be sent to Coastal Community Church or Wilshire Hospice (285 South St., Suite J, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401).
Published by Los Angeles Times on Apr. 17, 2016.