It is with great
regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Dick McNear, on 8 September at his home, Hilltop, in Washington, VA, after a valiant
battle with lung cancer.
Dick is survived by his wife,
Jeanie; daughters, Jennifer, Susannah, and Laura; and grandchildren,
Michael, Samuel, Nicholas,
Kimberly, Josephine, Reed, Carter, Lucas, and Ella Jean.
A memorial service will be held
on Sunday, October 8,
2017 at 2:30 pm at
Greenwood Farm Cemetery, 43
Greenwood Lane, Washington, VA 22747.
Condolences may be sent to
Jeanie at 32 Keyser Run
Road, Washington, VA 22747-1701.
In lieu of flowers, the family
has requested that donations in Dick’s memory be made to
Washington Baptist Church, 180
Gay Street, Washington, VA 22747;
Piedmont Environmental Council,
PO Box 460, Warrenton VA
Virginia Outdoors Foundation, 39
Garrett Street, Suite 200, Warrenton, VA
Well done, Dick.
Be thou at peace.
Richard E. McNear, known as “Dick”, was
born in 1937, in Harrisburg, PA. He passed away on September 8, 2017 at his
home, Hilltop, from lung cancer. He was surrounded by his wife and three
daughters. He was the son of Helen Jean and Evan Arthur McNear and older brother
of Nancy Jean Weitz.
Dick began farming in 1961 under mentorship
of John Marshall Clark. He graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point
and received a Master’s of Science in engineering from Purdue University. He
spent 10 years in the Army where he received rank of Major and was awarded the
Bronze Star while serving in Vietnam. In 1968 after returning from Vietnam, he
met Nancy J. Beeghly while working at the Pentagon. They were married in 1969
and moved to Rappahannock in 1970. This union brought three daughters, Jennifer,
Susannah and Laura and as time went by, 9 grandchildren, Michael, Samuel,
Nicholas, Kimberly, Josephine, Reed, Carter, Lucas and Ella Jean. After his
resignation from the Army, he spent 2 years as a teacher and 20 years working as
the planning and zoning administrator for Fauquier County. In 1987, Dick was
awarded the Citizen of the Year award for Fauquier County for his dedication and
guidance through a period of high growth and hard challenges.
Dick began full time farming in 1992. His
chief goal was to preserve and improve his land for his children and future
generations. He explored programs through the CSWCD and through the National
Resource Conservation Service. He made significant management changes so that he
could pass the farm along to his three daughters who would inherit a sustainable
operation. He placed the farm into an open space easement with the Virginia
Outdoor Foundation to protect it from future development. In 2013, he was
awarded the Conservationist of the Year award. He served as Director of the
CSWCD representing Rappahannock County and served as the Chairman of the Board
for 3 years and then as an associate director for Rappahannock County. He served
as a board member of the Rappahannock County Farmer’s Association, the Piedmont
Environmental Council and was recognized by the Virginia General Assembly for
outstanding contributions to planning in Virginia.
Dick’s hobbies were tennis, golf, fishing,
camping and most of all farming. He was well known for his sense of humor,
stellar character, kindness and self-effacing manner. He embodied the pledge he
took at West Point to “Duty, Honor and Country”. He will be dearly missed and
forever remembered by his family and friends.
A memorial service will be held at
Greenwood Farm cemetery, 43 Greenwood Lane, Washington, VA 22747 on Sunday,
October 8, 2017 at 2:30pm. Gifts in his memory may be sent to the Washington
Baptist Church, the Piedmont Environmental Council or the Virginia Outdoors
Jeanie. We were so sorry to
hear about Dick's passing. Betty and I live in Chevy Chase, MD and plan to be
at his memorial service on October 8th. Dick and I were West Point classmates
and both chose the Army Corps of Engineers after graduation. We went through
the Engineer Basic Course at Fort Belvoir, VA together and the Airborne and
Ranger courses at Fort Benning, GA. We then served together in our first
assignments in 1962 and 1963 with the 19th Engineer Combat Engineer Battalion at
Fort Meade, MD. He was a platoon leader, battalion S-3 (operations) and company
commander of C company. I was a platoon leader, battalion S-2 (security) and
company commander of B company. Classmates Brian Schultz and Joe Stewart also
served in the same battalion during the same time. Dick was a natural leader
and well respected by everyone - subordinates, peers and superiors.
Class Memorial Pages\E-1 Dick McNear.pdf
Program for Dick McNear's