David “Dave” Walter Wear, a Sahuarita resident and fixture for the last 50 years, passed away peacefully into the Kingdom of Heaven, on the evening of July 28, 2019, at home, surrounded by the love of his life, Rachel Robson Wear, his wife of 62 years, and his eldest child, Laurie, and youngest son, Ron, after a long and difficult battle with COPD.
Dave was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on August 10, 1939, to Edward William Wear and Lucille Williams Wear. He often spoke fondly of his childhood memories of Eau Claire and nearby Chetek and Chippewa Falls. It is there where he developed his lifelong love of baseball. He loved telling stories about watching the minor league farm team, the Eau Claire Bears, and how several Bears players who later made it to the Majors stayed at his family’s home over those early years. It is there where he also fell in love with his beloved Green Bay Packers, and the game of football. He was a lifelong Packers fan, and revelled in the day in November, 2000 when he was finally able to visit Lambeau Field in Green Bay, and watch a Packers game there. It is in Wisconsin where his unbreakable bond with his older sister, Marlene Wear Marxman, began, and remained strong the rest of his life.
When Dave was 11 years old, the family moved to Winslow, Arizona. His mother Lucy worked in a corner drug store at the soda fountain, on the corner later made famous by the Eagles in their hit song “Take it Easy.” His father Ed was a baker by trade. It was in Winslow that Dave met his future high school sweetheart, Rachel Robson. They were married just outside Winslow at the end of their senior year, on May 4, 1957. They were just 17 years of age. Yet it was the beginning of an incredible family legacy, and an enduring love the kind of which stories are written.
After their graduation from Winslow High School, Dave and Rachel lived in Phoenix for a short time, and on June 8, 1959, it was there they welcomed their first child, Laurie June. Shortly after that, Dave enrolled at what was then Arizona State College, now Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff. On December 30, 1961, their second child, William Edward, was born. In 1963, Dave graduated from ASC with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Industrial Education. The third child, Daniel Richard, arrived on September 28, 1963, in Phoenix.
From there, Dave took his young family to Grand Canyon Village, inside Grand Canyon National Park, where he began his first teaching and coaching job at Grand Canyon High School. He coached football, basketball and baseball there, and taught industrial arts. On April 25, 1965, Ronald Patrick, child number four, was born in the tiny hospital at Grand Canyon. Dave taught there until 1967, when the family moved to Tucson, where Dave taught industrial arts at Carson Junior High, and coached basketball and baseball.
In the summer of 1969, Dave accepted a teaching position at Sahuarita High School, again teaching industrial arts, and coaching many sports over the next 33 years. At various times Coach Wear was head track coach, assistant football coach, JV baseball coach, girls basketball coach, athletic director, and golf coach. He was inducted into the Sahuarita Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, and his name is memorialized on a tile in the Sahuarita Schools Walk of Fame just outside the auditorium. On January 24, 1977, Dave and Rachel welcomed their fifth child, Darby Kathleen. Since their arrival, the Wear family has lived, loved, laughed, cried, and served the Sahuarita community for a half century. Over that time Dave was active in many community activities for children, including the Sahuarita Sting Rays swim team, the Governing Board of the Continental Ballet, which his daughter Darby now co-directs. Dave continued to coach golf for Sahuarita High School, even after his retirement from teaching in May, 1992. Dave and Rachel are members of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Parish in Green Valley.
Dave loved to laugh, to spend time with neighbors and friends, and above all, his family. In all, his five children provided him with 13 grandchildren, three of whom preceded him in death: Rochelle and Daniel Wear “DJ,” Jr., and Wesley Ott. He also was a great grandfather to 17 children. Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Lucy Wear, and brother-in-law, Richard “Dick” Marxman.
He leaves his wife and partner of 62 years, Rachel, his five children: Laurie Ahumada of Green Valley, Ron Wear of Sahuarita, and Darby Wear Downs of Sahuarita, Dan Wear of Wichita, Kansas, and Bill Wear of Tazewell, Virginia, as well as his sister, Marlene Wear Marxman, of Chandler, Arizona.
A Funeral Mass and Celebration of Dave’s life will be held at Our Lady of the Valley Church at 505 N. La Canada in Green Valley, on August 8 at 10 a.m., followed by burial services at Green Valley Cemetery. There will be visitation at Green Valley Mortuary at 18751 S. La Canada in Sahuarita on Wednesday, August 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests friends donate to Hospice Family Care of Green Valley.