CAMBRIDGE --Dr. Robert L. "Bob" Stear, DVM, age 83, died Saturday (Aug. 8, 2009) at his farm.
He was born in Cozad, on March 21, 1926, to Murrel L. and Clara E. (Halliwell) Stear. He graduated from Lexington High School in 1944. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944, and served in the Pacific Theater from March 1944 until August, 1946.
He married B. Joyce Rorabaugh on June 20, 1948, at Otis, Colo. He began college at Colorado A & M, now Colorado State University, receiving his Bachelor of Science in animal husbandry with emphasis in dairy manufacturing. He then worked for a year in the Denver area for a dairy manufacturing company. He was accepted to Veterinary School at Colorado A & M, earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1956.
He then moved to Lexington and was employed at a local veterinary clinic. He opened his own practice at Holbrook for 12 ½ years and taught at the University of Nebraska School of Veterinary Technology at Curtis for two years. The family then moved to Lincoln where he served many of his 20 years as Director of Veterinary Services for Norden Laboratory, before retiring in 1989.
He and his wife, returned to Southwest Nebraska to the Sky Chief Ranch east of Cambridge where they have lived for the last 20 years.
He was active in the Gideon International, the American Red Cross at Nebraska Football Games, Lincoln YMCA Marathon Trainer, Rotary International, UN-L International Exchange for Students, Cambridge Rescue Squad as an EMT, Habitat For Humanity, American Legion, Kids Barn at the Nebraska State Fair, Search Committee for Chancellor at UN-L, Nebraska Department of Agriculture Emergency Response Team, TEAMMATES, Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Association, and the Good Samaritan Hospice.
He was the NVMA Veterinarian of the Year in 1983-84, and was the Volunteer of the Year for Good Samaritan Hospice 2009. He was an accomplished marathon runner, qualifying for the Boston Marathon several times in the senior division in the early 1980s. He was also ranked third in the nation at the 5000 meters during that time.
He served as a youth leader, camp counselor, a Bible mentor, Gideon Society in numerous missions trips to Bolivia and Mexico, and supported and encouraged many missionaries. He helped build Habitat for Humanity projects and numerous other activities.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son Paul; two brothers, Wayne and Ralph; sister, Ruth Wheeler; and a grandson Joshua Fuenning.
Survivors include his wife, Joyce of Cambridge: three daughters, Barbara and husband, Lee Sayer of Clay Center, Pat Stear of Lincoln and Kathryn and husband, Robert Fitzgerald of Kearney; two sons, David Stear of Millville, N.J., and Michael and wife, Jackie Stear of Bellingham, Wash.; sister, Marian McCoy of Eagle, Idaho; 17 grandchildren; and two great-grand children; .
Funeral services will be Wednesday, 11 a.m., at Evangelical Free Church in McCook with the Rev. Bruce Lester officiating. Interment will be in the Fairview Cemetery of Cambridge with the Rev. Chris Atkins at 7 p.m., Wednesday with military honors provided by the American Legion.
Memorials may be left in his name to Habitat for Humanity, Gideon International, or the Tri-Valley Medical Foundation at the Lockenour-Jones Mortuary in Cambridge.
Lockenour-Jones Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.