Cover photo for Donn V. Gear's Obituary
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1936 Donn 2022

Donn V. Gear

February 7, 1936 — November 24, 2022

Donn V. Gear, 86, of Columbia, passed away on Thursday, November 24, 2022, in Columbia, Tennessee after a long battle with Alzheimer's.

Donn was born on February 7, 1936, to the late Robert and Lucy Gear in Chicago, Illinois.

Originally from the Windy City, he attended Morgan Park Military Academy and then went on to pursue an Undergraduate Degree from Purdue (where he played football until a knee injury ended his playing days), and a Master of Education from Indiana University.

He met the love of his life, Dee in 1953 and they have been together ever since. The Gears were married for 64 years and built a beautiful life together, full of family, travel, and lots of love.

After graduating, he became a High School Teacher and a Football Coach. He then went into Industry holding General Managers positions with Metals Manufactures. He worked in Columbia at the Conalco plant and was a plant manager in many industries including aluminum, steel, and paper.

His career took him all over the US and Europe, but he and Dee decided to retire in their beloved Columbia, Tennessee, where they have lived for the last 22 years. Retirement was good to Donn, you could always find him on a golf course, bowling alley, fishing, or at Disney World. When he wasn't taking many golfing trips with his sons, he was collecting coins, and stamps and playing cards. A competitor from a young age he excelled in all sports, but especially bowling. Donn became a Gold Medalist in the Tennessee Senior Olympics.

Although he loved his hobbies, there is nothing he loved more than his family. He had many titles throughout his life, from Boilermaker, teacher, and coach, but none more important than Dad. Donn loved his family dearly. His children were the light of his life and his relationship with his brothers was cherished. He was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend. He touched the lives of so many people. He will truly be missed and will never be forgotten.

Donn is survived by his wife, Dee Gear; Sons, Donn (Teressa) Gear, Mike (Kelley) Gear, and Dan Gear; Grandchildren, Michael Gear, Camille Gear, Duke Gear, Juliet Gear, and Samantha Gear; Brother, Harry Gear, and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Donn is preceded in death by his brother Robert Gear.

Memorial services will be held at First United Methodist Church in Columbia, Tennessee on December 8th. There will be a visitation from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m., followed by the celebration from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. with refreshments from 3 p.m.- 5 p.m. Family and friends are invited to come and share fond memories and stories.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a memorial donation be made to Alzheimer's of Tennessee.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donn V. Gear, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 8, 2022

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

First United Methodist Church

222 W 7th St, Columbia, TN 38401

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