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Leon's Story

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Leon Samuel Slear, 90, of State College, passed away at Centre Crest on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.
He was born May 2, 1927, at home in Island Park, near Northumberland, a son of the late Leon S. Sr. and Madeline E. (Wiest) Slear. In 1971, he married Geraldine L. Vargecko.

Leon was a 1945 graduate of Northumberland High School. After graduation he enlisted in the Army Aircorps and served most of his tour at Kimpo AFB in the Philippines with the 139th Aviation Air Communication System Squadron. He was charged with the maintenance of communications for the entire base. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal and was involved at the beginning of the Korean War.

Following his military service, he returned to Northumberland and briefly attended Bucknell University in Lewisburg. He transferred to Tri-State University in Angola, Ind., where he graduated in June, 1953, with the degree of bachelor of science in radio engineering.

Following graduation, Leon moved to State College and was employed as an electrical engineer at Haller, Raymond & Brown, subsequently known as HRB-Singer, Inc. Later, he was employed by Kaman Corp., formerly Locus, Inc., in Boalsburg.

He was a 4-year member of Grace Lutheran Church and a life member of the American Legion Post 44, Northumberland, the State College Elks, the State College VFW, and the NRA.

Leon enjoyed carpentry and was a very talented house and furniture builder. He also enjoyed gun collecting, loading ammunition and target shooting, Penn State football away and at home where he ushered for over 20 years in section "WD" at all home games. Earlier in their married life he and Geraldine enjoyed camping, family vacations at the New Jersey shore and traveling domestically and in the Caribbean.

In addition to his wife, Leon is survived by his children, Vivienne L. Slear of Gillett, Kerry A. Barndt (John), of Port Matilda, and Jeffry L. Slear, of Anchorage, Alaska and State College; grandson, J. Christopher O'Connor and his wife Sharon, of Las Vegas, Nev.; and great-granddaughters, Jayme and Sarah O'Connor.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Centre Crest for Leon's caring attention provided during his nearly 5-year stay and very special appreciation to his roommate, Jim McKinley, who acted daily on Leon's behalf as he felt necessary.

Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton St., State College. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Grace Lutheran Church with Pastor P. Stevens Lynn officiating.
Burial with military honors will be private in Centre County Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are requested to Alzheimer's Association of State College, In Memory of Leon Slear, 270 Walker Drive - Suite 201 B, State College, PA 16801, or to Grace Lutheran Church Building Expansion Fund, 205 S. Garner St., State College, PA 16801, or a charity of the donor's choice.

Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome .com or visit us on Facebook.
Published on December 18, 2017
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