Cover photo for Gary Spear's Obituary
Gary Spear Profile Photo

Gary Spear

July 12, 1938 — June 24, 2024

Auburn

Gary Spear

Gary Arthur Spear, only child of Gifford and Edna (Sumner) Spear, was born in Omaha, Nebraska on July 12, 1938; his childhood years were spent in Scribner, Nebraska. Upon graduating from Scribner High School in 1956, he attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln for one year and then finished his teaching degree at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. After graduating from college, Gary taught social sciences courses and coached in Tecumseh, Nebraska before moving to Omaha, where he served on the opening staff at Burke High School. During the summer months, he taught driver’s education, both in-person and via public television. Because he and Jane wanted to raise their family in a small town, they moved to Chappell, Nebraska, where Gary taught and coached from 1971-1977. After teaching and coaching at Auburn High School from 1977-1981, he spent twenty-one years as a supervisor for Farmer’s Mutual Hail of Iowa, where he utilized his teaching skills in damaged fields, agents’ offices, and continuing education classrooms.

On August 9, 1959, Gary married Mary Jane Cordes at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Scribner, Nebraska. They were blessed with three children: Jennifer, Timothy, and Christopher. Family life revolved around church and school activities. Gary served as a Sunday School teacher, elder, and delegate to the LCMS National Convention. He was a faithful attendee of his kids’ band concerts, piano recitals, volleyball games, cross country and track meets. As a devoted grandpa, Gary added choir concerts, soccer tournaments, dance performances, and baseball games to his repertoire.

Gary grew up hunting, fishing, and participating in baseball, football, basketball, and track. He was a lifelong sports enthusiast and a rabid fan of the San Francisco Forty-Niners, the New York Yankees, the Boston Celtics, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He was a voracious reader, with a library of novels by many of his favorite authors. Gary had a deep appreciation for a variety of musical genres; he and Jane enjoyed live performances, and their home and vehicles were seldom without music in the background. After retiring, he served on civic boards in the Auburn community, delivered Meals on Wheels, and taxied non-drivers to their medical appointments in Omaha/Lincoln. Gary and Jane delighted in taking road trips to visit kids and grandkids; a favorite annual destination was Hilton Head Island, where Gary enjoyed walking the beach several times each day.

During the past three years, poor health took a toll on Gary’s mobility. He moved to an assisted living facility in Omaha for about a year before returning to Auburn, where he was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society during the final twenty months of his life. Gary entered hospice care on June 19 and passed away on Monday, June 24. His parents and wife, Jane, preceded him in death. Those who will cherish their memories of Dad/Grandpa include Jenny and Keith Long of Papillion, NE; Tim and Suzanne Spear of Overland Park, KS; Chris and Michelle Spear of McLean, VA; grandchildren Mykayla, McKenzy, and Maleigha Long; Joshua (Codee) and Madison Spear; and James, Anna, Thomas, and Eva Spear. From his earliest days until his final breath, Gary was blessed to be surrounded by cherished students and athletes, lifelong friends, his church family, favorite caregivers, and his loving family, all of whom will miss his sense of humor and his laughter.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 10, 2024, 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Auburn. Visitation will be on Friday, August 9, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., with family greeting friends from 5:30 to 7:30. Graveside committal of ashes will take place on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in the Scribner Cemetery at Scribner, Nebraska. 

Memorials suggested to Good Samaritan Society-Auburn, Auburn Trinity Lutheran Church, Nebraska High School Hall of Fame Foundation, or Auburn High School Booster Club. 

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Upcoming Services

Visitation

Friday, August 9, 2024

9:00am - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Hemmingsen Funeral Home

801 S St, Auburn, NE 68305

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Family Greeting Friends

Friday, August 9, 2024

5:30 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

Hemmingsen Funeral Home

801 S St, Auburn, NE 68305

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, August 10, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Trinity Lutheran Church

634 Alden Dr, Auburn, NE 68305

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