Howard William “Bill” Lear joined the Lord on November 6, 2022. He was 84 years old. He is preceded in death by his son, Douglas Lear and wife, Cathleen Patricia Lear. He is survived by his daughter, Wendy Lear Robbins and son-in-law Mark Robbins of Lynnwood, Washington, granddaughters, Sarah and Julia Robbins, sister-in-law, Marge Lear and brother-in-law, Clifford Ganschow as well as many nieces and nephews. Bill was born in Orange, New Jersey to William A. Lear and Jean McGill Brown. He grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey and remained there until his retirement in 2000 from the Union County Board of Elections. Bill graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Elizabeth. He was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian church where he met and married Cathleen. They were married for 57 years. Bill and Cathy (Cathleen) had two children Wendy, and Douglas.
Bill was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 42. He never let Parkinson's define him. He lived everyday with resolve and determination to not let the disease keep him from doing the things he enjoyed. He loved trains, music, traveling, reading the newspaper, and engaging with anyone who would talk with him. Simply, he loved interacting with all people. Bill was an active and involved member of the communities where he lived. He wanted to make a difference in the lives of Parkinson’s patients, so he served as president of the New Jersey chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association for three years.
Bill and Cathy relocated to Yorkville Park in Burlingham, New York in 2006 and quickly became active community members. Bill moved to The Valley View Center in Goshen, New York after Cathy’s death in 2018 and lived there until his recent passing. Please consider making a donation to either the American Parkinson's Disease Association or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research in the name of Howard William Lear so these organizations can continue to find a cure for Parkinson’s. A celebration of life will be held in 2023.
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