Obit: Gearing, Alice Loraine (1924 - 2017)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Gearing, Will, Johnston, Burrows, Risch, Glynn, Zielke, Durost, Dahl, Morrison, Nicholas, Spicer, Wessel, Jones

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 8/09/2017

Gearing, Alice Loraine (21 March 1924 – 2 August 2017)

Alice L. Gearing, 93, of Sunset Gardens Assisted Living in Neillsville, formerly of Humbird and Fairchild, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, at Neillsville Memorial Medical Center.

Alice Loraine Johnston Gearing was born March 21, 1924, on a farm near Merrillan, the fourth out of eight children born to Frank and Lydia (Will) Johnston. Alice lived near Merrillan until the age of three, when the family moved to Neillsville. It was there that her father passed away in 1929, when Alice was almost five years old. The family then moved to Fairchild to live near her mother’s parents, Susan and Henry Will. While still in high school, she worked part-time at the telephone office, and after graduation she worked at the Eau Claire Ordnance Plant. A favorite place for everyone to go Saturday nights to dance was the Silver Dome east of Fairchild. Here is where Alice met Gordon Gearing from Alma Center. They were married Sept. 28, 1946. In 1952, they had the opportunity to purchase a gas station in Humbird, where they raised their four children (Julie, Jean, Gwen, and Scott).

Alice was a busy homemaker, bringing up the children, and keeping books for Gordy’s business. Gordy passed away in May 1969. She then took a job with the public-school system as a teacher’s aide and also substituted at the post office in Merrillan. This led to a job at the mail distribution center in Eau Claire, where upon a vacancy became open for the postmaster’s position at the Humbird office, whereby she was hired. She held this position until retiring in 1985.

Alice remarried in 1977-85 to Harold Burrows of Fairchild. Following the end of marriage, Alice remained living in Fairchild until her move to Neillsville in December 2010. Alice loved traveling, and had traveled to Germany when her daughter Julie and family were stationed there. She had also visited Hawaii, and most of the western and southern states. She also loved reading, singing, working crossword and jigsaw puzzles, and walking.

It was important to her to give back to her community, and she did so by serving on the Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan School Board, as secretary of the Fairchild Alumni Association, with the Fairchild Nursing Home Auxiliary, A.A.R.P. Chapter, and Homemaker’s Club. She was instrumental in keeping the Mastin Center open, allowing gatherings and meetings to be held there. While residing in Humbird, Alice was a very active member of the United Methodist Church for many years.

Alice will be dearly missed by her three daughters, Julie (Chuck) Risch of Merrillan, Jean (Don) Glynn of Eau Claire, and Gwen (Curt) Zielke of Wonewoc; son Scott (Jennifer) Gearing of Alma Center; three brothers, Meredith Johnston of Line Lexington, PA, Lester Johnston of Alpine, CA, and Frank (Eunice) Johnston of Eau Claire; sister Lila Durost of Eau Claire; brother-in-law Otis Dahl of Eau Claire; sisters-in-law, Sonna Johnston of Kerrville, TX, Pat Gearing of Neillsville, and Lucille Gearing of Phoenix, AZ; 12 grandchildren, Rob (Stephanie) Risch, Eric Risch, Paul Risch, Doug Risch, Colin (Ashley) Morrison, Megan (Corey) Nicholas, Renee (Seth) Spicer, Rebecca (Aaron) Wessel, David (Stacy) Zielke, Whitney Gearing, Zach Gearing, and Hailee Gearing; 16 great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

In addition to her husband Gordy, she was also preceded in death by siblings Mabel Jones, Zelma Dahl, and Henry Johnston.

A visitation was held Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Anderson Funeral Home in Augusta, and will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Living Hope Evangelical Free Church in Neillsville. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the church, with burial in the Mentor Cemetery in Humbird.



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