In Memoriam: Lifetime Fair Havenite, U.S. Navy Vet, John Sears Jr., 94

Lifetime Fair Havenite and U.S. Navy veteran John Sears Jr. passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 4, his family by his side. He was 94.

“Growing up in Fair Haven, he was surrounded by numerous relatives which were all close friends. An exceptional baseball player, he enlisted in the Navy right after high school, just days before the New York Yankees realized he would be an asset to their team and came to ‘scout him out.’ He loved to share stories and tell jokes. He could always be found repairing small motors and generally fixing anything needing repair. He spent several birthdays attending Wanda Sykes performances, which he truly enjoyed with the highlight being a chance to be in the front row and carry on a lengthy conversation with her. He was elated in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the United States, sharing he never thought he would live to see such a moment.  

‘He was a remarkable man who left a
lasting impact on those who knew him.’  

Loved ones of John Sears Jr. in his obituary

John was born to John Austin Sears, Sr, and Rubye Byles Sears on February 9, 1929.

He served the country for more than 20 years, retiring from the U.S. Navy in 1969. During his service, John served two tours in Vietnam, receiving the Vietnam Service Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device and National Defense Service Medal. He also received six Good Conduct awards in recognition of faithful, zealous and obedient Naval Service along with Sailor of the Month in July of 1966. Upon his retirement, he transferred to the Fleet Reserve. 

After his military service, John spent more than 20 years employed as a heavy equipment operator for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, working many jobs on the NJ Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. He also worked for a decade delivering for a local dentist, then worked until he was 85 delivering for TD Bank.  

John was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Una Sears Edmead. 

He is survived by: his loving wife of 66 years, Iris Rousseve Sears; his daughters, Denise Sears Taylor, of VA, and Joy Sears, of NJ; his grandchildren, Brittany Zierow (Rolf) and Courtney Taylor; his great-grandchildren, Nikolai and Axel Zierow; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 16, at 11 a.m. at the John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank. There will be a private interment at BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, NJ.

— Edited obituary prepared by family via John E. Day Funeral Home