DONALD GENE BEAR

DONALD GENE BEAR

    Donald Gene Bear, son of Glenn and Eula (Brockway) Bear, was born at home in Monroe Township, Ringgold County, Iowa on October 13, 1932. Don graduated from high school in Archie, Missouri in 1950. Shortly after, he returned to Ringgold County and helped his dad farm.
    Don began a long and rewarding career with the United States Air Force. He served his country for 26 years. Some of the bases that Don was stationed in include Richard-Gabeur AFB, Missouri; Tachikawa Air Base, Japan; Pope AFB, North Carolina; Danang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam; Pope AFB, North Carolina; Eglin AF Annex Florida, Field #9; England AFB, Louisiana; Hill AFB, Utah; Kelly AFB, Texas; Clark Air Base, Philippines; Tanson Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam; NKP Air Base, Thailand; and retiring from Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio.
    Don worked on, or flew as a crew member, the following aircrafts; VB-17 Flying Fortress, C-47 Skytrain, C-123 Provider, C-118 Liftmaster, C-54 Skymaster, T-29 Seastar Flying Classroom, C-130 Hercules, C-131 Samaritan, C-124 Globemaster II, and the C-141 Starlifter.
    On August 10, 1956, Don was united in marriage to Darlene M. Giles in Lamoni, Iowa. They were blessed with three children; Jacqueline Sue, Daniel Dean, and Jodi Lynn.
    The U.S. Air Force transferred Don and his family on an almost annual basis. Darlene knew that when Don came home and gave her that look, they were soon to move. Don and the family returned most summers to spend their vacation around their Iowa families, and Don enjoyed the reunions. He loved to fish and play cribbage, pitch, and pinochle.
    After retiring from the U.S. Air Force in 1978, the family returned to Ringgold County. Under the G.I. Bill, Don went to Southwest Iowa Community College and studied small engine repairs. Don worked 20+ years as a dispatcher and jailer at the Ringgold County Law Enforcement Center in Mount Ayr. Don was respected among the law enforcement and those that were serving their time. Don loved to read. He loved to read Western novels and he read every Louis L’Amour book written. After retiring from the law enforcement center, he enjoyed spending time at the Dead-beat Club.
    Don became a resident of the Mount Ayr Health Care Center, and he passed away there on May 16, 2015. He was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law Floyd & Nova Giles; granddaughter Kimberly Bear; sister-in-law Bryce Bear; three sisters Shirley Chase, Karen Baker, and Betty Long.
    Those left to cherish his memory include his loving wife of nearly 59 years, Darlene Bear of Mount Ayr; children Jacque (Art) Davis of Weeping Water, Nebraska, Dan (So Un) Bear of Lancaster, California, and Jodi Angus of Mount Ayr, Iowa; grandchildren Andrew (Tonya) Davis, Matthew (Jessica) Davis, Benjamin (Angela Gee) Davis, Amber (Rob) (Bear) Mitchell, Katie Bear, Kristy Bear, Kassidy Bear, Lucas (Amanda) Angus, Jennifer (Amie) Angus, and Austin Angus; great grandchildren Logan Mitchell, Lewis Angus, and Brooklyn Angus; brother Ted Bear of Ellston, Iowa; two sisters Beverly Peterman of Nevada, Missouri and Jean Schriever of Minnesota; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
    Services will be held at the Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr, Iowa on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 10 a.m. with Rev. Mike Maddy officiating and Nancy Sackett and John Allen providing the music. Casketbearers will be Matthew Davis, Benjamin Davis, Lucas Angus, Austin Angus, Art Davis and Warren Angus. Military rites by Offutt Air Force Base Honor Guard with burial in the Tingley cemetery, Tingley, Iowa. A memorial fund has been established in his name to be decided later.

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