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Mereness-Putnam Funeral Home
171 Elm Street
| Cobleskill, NY 12043
Tel: 1-518-234-3549
Farming Agriculture 04


John F. Shear

December 29, 1936 ~ October 3, 2018 (age 81)
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Warnerville- John F. Shear, 81, died peacefully on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, surrounded by his loving family in the comfort of his home.

Born December 29, 1936 on the family farm in Argyle, NY, he was the son of the late John L. and Helen (Foster) Shear.

A graduate of Argyle High School, he joined the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard” protecting President Dwight D. Eisenhower and serving at Arlington National Cemetery. After receiving Bachelor's and Master’s degrees from Cornell University in Agricultural Economics, he was employed as the Farm Loan Officer at Key Bank in Cobleskill for six years.

He then taught Animal Science and Agricultural Business at SUNY Cobleskill for 40 years, obtaining his Doctorate in Education from SUNY Albany and retiring in 2007. He served as Chair of the Animal Science Department and college farm coordinator in addition to his teaching duties. John was honored with the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1998 and the Distinguished Emeritus Professor award in 2007. He was known by students for his straightforward, practical teaching and his many “Shearisms.”

Outside of teaching, he was President of Rotary International in Cobleskill, a Richmondville Town Councilman for 12 years, a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer for Cornell Cooperative Extension, and a licensed real estate sales agent and appraiser for many years.  He was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in West Burlington, where his wife, Sandy, serves as the Associate in Ministry. 

John was happiest when working and spent countless hours mowing fields, fixing fences, chopping wood, and working on projects around the house. He was a voracious reader, devouring several books a month and always looked forward to reading the Sunday paper every week. He loved watching football and boxing matches, and discussing current events.

He dearly loved his family and was fiercely loyal to those he cared about. A man of principal and deep convictions, one always knew where he stood. He and good friend Meredith McNeil built both of their houses and numerous pole barns in the area.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Sandra Shear, and his six children: John L. (Lisa), Kathy, and James from his first marriage; and Matthew, Timothy (Asmeret), and Brett (Ashley). He also is survived by his siblings, Catherine (Bill), Joan (Paul) and Les (Marie) and by his seven grandchildren Mikaila, John, Alec, Isabella, Liam, Sienna, and Evan.

Funeral services will be conducted on Thursday, October 11 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 265 Main Street, Richmondville, with Rev. Paul Messner officiating.  A period of visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Mereness-Putnam Funeral Home, 171 Elm St., Cobleskill.

Interment with military honors will be at Prospect Hill Cemetery, Argyle, New York, following the services on Thursday.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Otsego County Lutheran Parish, 1 Center Street, Oneonta, New York 13820.

Donations may be made to:

Ostego County Lutheran Parish
1Center St, Oneonta NY 13820

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