MISSOULA — Raymond Shearer, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, was called home on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at the age of 83. “Smiling Ray,” as he was affectionately known, found his way into everyone’s heart because of his joy-filled life, gentle demeanor, genuine kindness, words of wisdom, consistent compassionate service, and his good and pure heart. He loved everyone and especially enjoyed spending time with family, friends, and his “ice cream buddies.”
Raymond was born in California in 1935 to Howard and Louise Shearer. In 1956 he married his sweetheart and eternal companion, Barbara, in the Logan Utah Temple. He graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in timber management and continued on to receive a master’s in silviculture, also from Utah State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Montana.
In 1958 Ray and Barbara moved to Missoula where he began his career as a research silviculturist for the U.S. Forest Service at the Intermountain Research Station. His remarkable career of 46 years included seminal research of western larch at the Coram Experimental Forest and the Miller Creek Demonstration Forest. Along with his friend and colleague, Wyman Schmidt, Ray developed the “Walk With Larch” educational and discovery area at Coram.
Ray was a devoted disciple of his Savior, Jesus Christ, and a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In his weekly letters to his family and friends (written since 1977), he would always express his love and would often bear testimony of God’s goodness, mercy, and eternal love for His children, reminding us that “His arms are always inclined to embrace and comfort us.” This conviction was written in Ray’s heart because he lived what he believed and loved as the Savior loves.
Ray was preceded in death by his sweetheart Barbara, parents, brother Gordon, and son-in-law Shawn. He is survived by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Boyd and Carma, and his ten children — Scott, Sandra (Rick), Susan (Bruce), Spencer (Concessa), Sonia, Sylvia (David), Samuel (Jennifer), Seth (Janae), Stella (Rowan), and Stephen (Carole-ann). He is adored by his 43 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
We express appreciation to dad’s many friends, near and far (including from his beloved England). You blessed his life through your kind acts of service and loving concern. We love you because you loved him.
As President Russell M. Nelson observed, “Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love. . . . We can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.” Mom and dad, we have felt deeply of your love and anticipate our joyful reunion in a time yet to come.
A viewing will be held Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at Garden City Funeral Home from 4 to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 16, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 3201 Bancroft St. in Missoula, with a viewing from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.