TBDBITL Alumni Club

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

Eugene Hammond Sears

July 19, 1935 - October 20, 2022

Eugene Hammond Sears, (age 87), of Pemberville, and formerly of Woodville, Ohio went to be with his Lord and was reunited with his dear wife on Thursday, October 20, 2022. He was born to M.M. “Duke” and Genieve Hammond Sears in the small town of McConnelsville in southeastern Ohio. Gene grew up in McConnelsville and attended the Malta-McConnelsville schools graduating in 1953. He entered The Ohio State University in 1953 majoring in music education. It was at OSU that he met the love of his life, Alice Frederick, whom he married December 29, 1957 at Canfield, Ohio. Alice died May 20, 2016 after 59 years of marriage. To this marriage were born three sons, Robert, William and Brian.

Following graduation from OSU in 1957 and marriage to Alice, Gene entered the U.S. Army with the rank of 2nd Lt. He fulfilled 8 years of service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves leaving service with the rank of Captain. Upon completing U.S. Army active duty, Gene returned to OSU where he entered graduate school.

Although qualified to teach music in the Ohio public school system, Gene and Alice surprised everyone by accepting positions with the Cole-Layer-Trumbull company of Dayton, OH. They moved to New England and worked for C-L-T in the field of real estate appraisal. Alice’s pregnancy with her first child, however, led to the decision to return to Ohio to be near family. Gene, needing a means of livelihood, accepted a teaching position with the Middleport, OH schools as band director and began his career as a music teacher.

Later, there were other job changes as opportunities arose. Gene and Alice moved to Coshocton, Lancaster and Woodville, OH finally settling permanently in Woodville. While living in Woodville, Gene served as band director of the Woodville schools, and then as a School Psychologist of the Maumee City Schools where he retired after 27 years of service to handicapped children and their families.

In addition to an undergraduate degree earned at The Ohio State University, Gene entered graduate school at The University of Toledo where he earned his master’s degree; and later, The University of Michigan, where he was enrolled in Education and Psychology.

Gene’s interests were many and varied. As a student at OSU, Gene was a proud member of the OSU Marching Band for four years, and a member of the university concert band and symphony orchestra, also for four years. He was selected for membership in the band honorary, Kappa Kappa Psi, and music honorary, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. As a student at OSU, Gene participated in the Reserve Officers Training Corps where he was recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate and awarded his commission as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army upon graduation.

Gene was active in the Boy Scouts of America for many years serving as a Scoutmaster, Asst. Scoutmaster, Committee Chairperson, Cub Scout leader, and trainer of adult scouters. He was honored with membership in The Order of the Arrow, and received his Woodbadge beads in 1972. Gene was an avid outdoorsman. He loved fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, birding, and photography. He prized his long-time membership in TOPICS Camera Club where he served in most leadership positions and enjoyed the companionship of like-minded amateur photographers. Gene and Alice spent many memorable hours photographing throughout the United States and Canada and enjoyed presenting programs of their photography.

In addition to his other activities, Gene loved gardening—particularly the cultivation of roses. He was very proud of his first rose bed, constructed at age 14 for his mother’s garden at the home in which he grew up. For many years, he raised close to 100 rose bushes in his backyard garden in Woodville, and he could often be found photographing the roses growing in his rose beds. He enjoyed woodworking and home repair and kept an up-to-date, well outfitted home workshop. Gene was a long-time member of the Woodville United Methodist Church and a 60+ year member of the Masonic Lodge.

Gene loved family life. He relished family trips and summers spent at the family cottage on Lake Erie. He enjoyed watching his sons grow into capable, caring adults and was very proud of their accomplishments. Grandchildren were the apples of his eyes and he dearly loved them all.

Gene is survived by his sons; Robert (Sheri) Sears of Boardman, OH; William (Lori) Sears of Munster, Indiana; Brian (Paula) Sears of Delavan, WI; grandchildren, Allison, Kathryn, Michael, Aaron, Nicole, and Andrew; and a niece (Suzanne Polk) and nephew (Robert Sears). Gene was preceded in death by his wife, Alice; parents Marmaduke Morton Sears and Genieve Hammond Sears; and brother, Robert William Sears.

Gene will be laid to rest next to Alice at a family committal service in Westwood Cemetery, Woodville, Ohio. Officiating will be Pr. Leroy Sholey. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial take the form of contributions to a charity of the donor’s choice. Those wishing to express their condolences to the family, may do so at www.marshfuneralhomes.com

Gene was a member of the marching band from 1953 through 1957. He played Tenor Horn in F-Row in 1953 and Trombonium in R-Row from 1954 through 1957.