American Veteran 04

Robert Lee Sears

September 6, 2023
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Obituary

Robert (Bob) Lee Sears, 82, died September 6, 2023 of natural causes in Helena, MT.

Bob was born June 11, 1941, in Ottumwa, Iowa to Frederick Marion Sears and Edna ­Belle Renaud.  He was the oldest child of four and was joined by his sister Bonnie and brothers Ray and Jerry.  Bob graduated from Newton (Iowa) Senior High School in 1959.

Bob met his future wife, Judy Salsberry, while still in high school.  Bob and Judy married soon after Bob’s graduation and had three daughters in rapid succession. Wendy was born in 1961, Barbara in 1962, and Michelle in 1964.  And just like that, their family was complete.

Bob joined the Air Force following his high school graduation and spent the next 23 years in service for his country.  In the early years of his career, he attended college earning his Bachelor of Science degree in history and geography from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and completed Officer Training School.  Bob and his family moved frequently as he was stationed in Missouri, Nevada, Hawaii, Nebraska, Virginia, Alaska, Montana, and South Dakota.  The family viewed each move as an adventure although Hawaii, Alaska, and Montana were undoubtedly their favorite locations. 

After retiring as a Captain in 1982, Bob and Judy moved to Missouri where he taught high school social studies and then worked in civil service as a nuclear safety specialist for the Air Force inspector general. 

In the meantime, daughter Michelle was starting her own family up in Montana.  The lure of grandchildren was too much for Bob and Judy and they returned to Montana in 1992.  They initially lived in Missoula and then Clinton where Bob was a substitute teacher and drove school bus.  He particularly liked working with the younger children.  Bob and Judy eventually moved to Helena in 2016 to be closer to family.

Bob has always enjoyed the outdoors. Living on the beach in Hawaii, Bob loved spear fishing and hunting wild boars.  In Alaska, he hunted moose.  And, of course, Montana offered multiple opportunities to hunt, fish, and camp with friends and family.  He was an avid participant in cowboy shooting events and archery target shoots.  More recently, Bob started carving wood with the Helena Carving Club.  He liked to carve difficult subjects and was proud to be awarded multiple ribbons for his artwork.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Bonnie, and his brother Jerry.  He is survived by his wife Judy Sears; daughters Wendy Sears (Holly Franz), Barbara Schepper (Bob), and Michelle Truax; grandchildren Rob Truax (Adrienne Ellsworth), Alec Truax (Nichole), Taylor Truax, Hunter Schepper, and Kailan Schepper; great grandchildren Ewan Truax, Remus Truax, and Harlow Foster; brother Ray Sears; and sisters-in-law Jan Sears, Janie Salsberry, and Darlene Salsberry.

Memorial services will be held on September 26, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at Simple Cremation MT, 648 North Jackson St., Helena, MT.  A graveside service with military honors will follow at 2:30 p.m. at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery – Fort Harrison, 3550 Heroes Road, Helena, MT.

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December 31, 1969-September 6, 2023




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In Loving Memory Of

Robert Sears

December 31, 1969-September 6, 2023




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