Gary Allen Stears, 49, died Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007, after a nine month fight with a brain tumor. He died in his home in the presence of his family.
He was born on June 22, 1957, to DeLen Thomas Stears and Lois Rae Brooks Stears in San Bernadino, Calif., and grew up in Shelley, Idaho.
He married Laura Kaye Slaughter in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on March 19, 1981, while attending Ricks College. He played football and graduated from Ricks College with an associate's degree. The family then moved to Logan, Utah, where he attended Utah State University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in history and physical education, and a year later graduated with his masters in education.
He taught and coached in Utah and Idaho, then went back to school to get his education specialist degree and became an administrator in Fort Hall, Paul, and Grangeville. He was in his 13th year as a principal of Grangeville High School, which he loved.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing, taking his summer trips to Alaska, and guiding on the Salmon River in the summer. Among his many accomplishments, he served as the president of the Idaho Region II Principals Association in 1996, and as president of the Idaho Association of Secondary School Principals in 2000-2001. He was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Administrator Award in 2005 by the Utah State University College of Education Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and went on to win the overall Outstanding Alumni Administrator Award from the College of Education and Human Services from Utah State University.
He is survived by his wife, Laura Kaye; and his children, Elizabeth, Bart, Bradley, Brian, Erica and Emily; and his two grandchildren, Leland and Lola, his parents, brother Mike Stears and sisters, Bonnie Searle and Julie Dietz.
A viewing will be held Tuesday, Feb 13, in the Grangeville LDS Church. The funeral will be held Wednesday, Feb 14, at 1 p.m., also at the church. A visitation will be held on Friday, Feb. 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Nalder Funeral Home (110 West Oak) in Shelley, burial will follow at 12:30 p.m. at Hillcrest Cemetery.