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Richard E. McNear "Dick"

Company E-1

23 Nov 1937 - 8 Sep 2017

Place of Death: Washington, VA

Interment: Greenwood Farm Cemetery, Washington, VA

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; or Piedmont Environmental Council, PO Box 460, Warrenton VA  20188; or Virginia Outdoors Foundation, 39 Garrett Street, Suite 200, Warrenton, VA  20186. 

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 Foundation.


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.  

God Bless.  Bob Hampton.  

Class Memorial Pages\E-1 Dick McNear.pdf

Program for Dick McNear's committal service.