TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Charles Paul Bear

April 21, 1934 - September 1, 2015

Charles (Charlie, Chuck, and spoofingly Carlos Osso) P. Bear, age 81, of Silverthorne, Colorado, died, in the presence of his family, on September 1, 2015, at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado, from heart related issues.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Virginia Hummel Bear and Neal Bear, Charles was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother, Amy Shrimrock Bear; brothers, Neal (Delphine) and Robert, and sisters, Jane Bear Sheets (James) and Patricia Bear Rucki (Norbert). He is survived by his beloved wife of 36 years, Carolyn Danford Bear; two daughters (with Jerry Reynolds Freeland), Sarah Bear Haring (Mike) of Columbus, Ohio and Gretchen Bear (Michael Harding) of Seattle, Washington; brother, John Bear (Susan Ziegler Bear) of Las Vegas, Nevada; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews, and a house full of lovingly adopted pets.

He attended Libbey High School in Toledo and it was there he was recruited to play tuba in the marching band. His participation in band concerts served as the primary motivation for Charles to pursue college and ultimately join the Ohio State Marching Band until he graduated in 1957. Charles continued to play the tuba as an active member of the OSU alumni band (TBDBITL) and other local bands, including many years with the Summit Concert Band in Colorado. Though a regular participant in Merry Tuba Christmas, the pinnacle of his great passion came in 1994 when, as an alumnus, Charles was invited to dot the "i" in Script Ohio during the half-time performance.

Upon graduating from OSU, Charles began a long and loyal relationship working for Owens-Illinois, Inc. With O-I, Charles climbed the corporate ladder transferring from NYC to St. Louis, Toledo, Newark, Toledo (again), then Kansas City, and finally Dallas. After his division was sold multiple times, he retired as a General Manager under Georgia Pacific in 1990.

Charles was a man of many interests. An excellent dancer, Charles jitterbugged, skinned-the-cat and peeled-the-peach his way to local fame in his children's school fundraisers. Among other activities, he learned to ski as an adult --a passion that ultimately led him to retire with his wife in the spectacular mountains of Colorado. Charles loved to travel, nearly achieving one of his life's goals by visiting six of the seven continents (with credit due for his many creative attempts to reach Antarctica). He did achieve his goal of circumnavigating the world in one trip and did it in just under 80 days.

Charles' friendly and outgoing personality led him to contribute greatly as a civic activist. From his first position as an alderman in St. Louis, Charles remained active in his many communities and was ultimately appointed Mayor of Silverthorne from 1997-1998. In addition to positions on Silverthorne's Planning Commission and Town Council, he held positions on Summit County's Transit Board and Boards of the Housing Authority, the Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Municipal League. Charles worked as a bus driver (and de facto tour guide) for the Summit Stage on and off for 11 years.

The family will gather on Kelleys Island in Lake Erie next April where Charles' cremains will be interred near his family. As was Charles' wish, there will be a celebration of his life at that time. In his memory, Charles requested that any donations be sent to either of the two places where he volunteered: Summit County Colorado Animal Control and Shelter or the Summit County Colorado Library - North Branch with donations directed to "Friends of the Library".

Published in the Toledo Blade on Sept. 20, 2015

Charles was a member of the marching band in 1952, 1954, and 1955. He played sousaphone in K-row.