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Kenneth Delos Shearer, born in Tacoma, Washington, on April 6, 1923, to Claude Victor and Madalene (Ross) Shearer, passed away on March 13, 2023, just 24 days short of his 100th birthday.
In 1930, when Ken was 7, he and his parents, along with his older brother, Howard Victor Shearer, moved from Tacoma to Townsend, Montana. Ken graduated from Townsend High School in 1941. After graduation, he went to Seattle, Washington for a few months to work for Boeing, afterwards he returned to Montana.
In 1942, Claude, Ken’s father, quit his job at the oil station in Townsend and the family moved to the Radersburg to put in crops. After putting in the spring crops the family moved to Spokane. Claude went to a machinist school and Madalene went to a business school. Vic & Ken went to Lake Pend Oreille Naval Training Station North of Coeur d'Alene Idaho, and worked in a lumber yard. From there Ken went to the Navy Supply, East of Spokane, and worked for about a month on building water towers. He returned to Townsend in September of 1942 and then started college in Bozeman, studying Mechanical Engineering. In November he joined the Navy reserves and was placed on inactive duty as he finished his freshman year.
In 1943, Ken was called to WWII active duty and was sent to the University of Colorado where he completed two more semesters of college. From there he went to the Alameda airport for a couple of months training at the Naval Air Transportation center. In 1944, he was shipped to San Jose to Cal Poly Tech for 3 months of prep school. After that he went to St. Mary's College, north of Oakland California for three months of pre-flight school. Then he went to Glenview Illinois Naval Air Station for primary flight training. He accomplished his solo flight after 9 hours. He went on to accumulate 100 hours of flight time. In July, 1945, at the end of war, he was sent from Pensacola Florida to Seattle, Washington, for his orders to go to inactive duty. This trip consisted of a train ride from Pensacola to Seattle and from Seattle to Bremerton, Washington, by ferry, which was his only sea duty!
June 7, 1947, he married Doris Madelin Plymale, whom he had known from the Townsend area. They resided in Bozeman where they both attended Montana State University. Once he graduated, he was hired by IBM and started with them on February 16, 1949, for the Salt Lake City office, while residing in Layton, UT. He had a bit of a rough start with them since he was late due to bad weather, but soon proved the company was a good fit for his skills. He and his growing family moved from Layton, UT, in 1955 to Idaho Falls, ID, and then back to Bountiful, Utah, in 1961, where he spent the remainder of his 39-year career. Ken spent his whole career in the Field Engineering division. He started as a Customer Engineer, working on computer hardware, and after several years in that area moved to Installation Planning, where he did the design of computer room installations.
Along with his job, his kept very involved with his family of five. He helped out as needed with their various activities – Job’s Daughter, DeMolay, Scouts and even enjoyed time at the pony farm as the girls became involved with showing POAs. In addition, he had many interests such as hunting, fishing, camping, cabinetry and finish woodworking, gopher hunting at the Plymale ranch, having lunch every Thursday at Steffanos and in later years he enjoyed attending the Metropolitan Dinner Club.
He moved to Helena, Montana, after Doris passed away in 1985 and he retired from IBM in 1988. He reunited with a high school friend, Vera Pusey. They were married in 1988. Vera passed away in September of 1989. He continued to live in Helena, close to extended family and friends. Ken developed a close friendship with one of his condo neighbors, Patti Yedlicka, and they were married in Caldwell, Idaho, July 2, 2004.
Ken and Patti enjoyed over 18 years of time together. They honeymooned in Alaska, custom built a home in Helena, took a trip to Ireland, traveled from coast to coast visiting kids, took a bus tour to enjoy the fall colors in the Northeast, as well as visiting several places in Montana, Their home was always open, even when it meant having 14+ family members staying a night or two. Family and friends were always the priority.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, a grandson, Michael Dustin Shearer, daughter-in-law, Vickie Cooper Shearer and son-in-law, Stanley Harrison White. He is survived by his wife, Patti, as well as his five children; Gary Russell Shearer, Nampa, ID; Robert Dean Shearer, Boca Raton FL: Linda Kay Shearer, Denmark, IA; Darla Jean (Wm. Craig) DuBois, Rockaway Beach, OR and Donna Shearer White, Nampa , ID. His step-children; Linda Koelzer, Three Forks, MT; Greg (Jeanne) Pusey, Chelan, WA; Joe (Lisa) Yedlicka, Fromberg, MT; and Kevin Yedlicka, Fromberg, MT; His grandchildren; Londa Kay Wagner, Sharla Lynn (Laurent) Bataille, France, Terry Travis (Katie) White, Cody Michael White, Cameron James DuBois and Aubrey Danielle (Scott) Bellowes. And great grandchildren; Cassandra Rose, Lillian Grace and Samuel Albert White; Hezekiah Kenneth, Eliora Zerlan, Illiana Linda and Thelonis Jean-Pierre Bataille; Brooklyn Kiana and Austin Taylor Bellowes.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to your favorite charity, in Ken’s name. Cake and coffee to be served at a celebration of life on April 6, 2023 in Townsend before burial at the Deep Creek cemetery.
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