Ralph Cannon Dear Sr.

December 28, 1928 ~ October 2, 2021 (age 92)


Ralph Cannon Dear, Senior, age 92, died Saturday, 2 October, 2021 at his home from natural causes. Attending were his beloved wife of 55 years, Pheabe Gwen Dear and family. 

He was born in Jersey City, NJ, the son of Joseph Albert Dear III and Cyrene Bakke Dear, where Joseph was editor and co-owner of the Jersey Journal, one of New Jersey’s largest newspapers.

Ralph attended Lincoln High School in Jersey City and graduated with a journalism degree from Princeton University, where he also sang with the Princeton Men’s Glee Club.

He served on active duty in the Air National Guard at the West Falmouth, MA Air Force base and at the Newburgh, NY Eastern Air Defense Command-Radar. 

He was a third-generation newspaper-man and retired after 33 years in journalism. He was co-owner and on the executive committee of Dear Publication & Radio, Inc., formed when the Dears sold the Jersey Journal, and publisher of daily newspapers in Wheaton, IL, Sedalia, MO, Elizabeth City, NC, Henderson, KY (“Gleaner”), and weekly papers in Hampton, NH.

He worked first as a reporter and editor, then in circulation and other positions. He had been a news reporter for the former “Newark (NJ) Evening News”, the Denver Post, and for the Tufty News Bureau, Washington, DC. He had news-reporting, advertising sales, and business management positions at the Wheaton Daily Journal in Wheaton, IL, and was general manager of the weekly Hampton, N.H. Union and Smart Shopper, and monthly New Hampshire and Massachusetts Outdoorsman publications. 

He loved singing barbershop harmony and choir music. He was active in the Barbershop Harmony society for 25 years. He served as president and choral director of the Evansville Songfellows, sang bass in the original “Titanics” barbershop quartet, and competed two times in the society’s international senior quartet contest. He had sung in the New Jersey All-State High School Chorus. He sang in the “Sonlife” men’s gospel sextet at Christian Fellowship Church, Evansville, IN., where he and his beloved wife, Pheabe were members since 1985. 

He was former president of the Hampton, N.H, Rotary Club and the Wheaton, IL, Jaycees. 

In Henderson, KY, he was a member of the Rotary Club and the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and had served on the YMCA advisory board. He helped organize Henderson’s youth soccer program and coached youth soccer.

He is survived by his precious wife of 55 years, Pheabe Gwen (Horne) Dear; daughter, Gwen Rebecca Dear Rodgers (Rob) of Evansville, IN; sons, Ralph Cannon Dear Jr. (Jane) of Atlanta, GA, Jeffrey Mitchell Dear of Cary, IL, and Martin Daniel Dear of Evansville, IN; Brother; Walter Moore Dear of Durango, CO; Sister-in-Law, Wanda Dee Horne of Henderson, KY; grandchildren: Ryan Dear (34), Lucas Dear (31), Ethan Ross-Dear (26), Asher Halsey (19), Adeleine Dear Halsey (18), Hartley Halsey (13); nieces, nephews; and two great grandchildren, Kiley Dear and Noa Danielle Dear; and step-grandchildren, Andrew Rodgers (27), Emily Rodgers (24) and Hannah Rodgers (21).

Ralph was preceded in death by his daughter Salli Karen Dear; brothers, David Reid Dear, Joe Dear IV and Bryan Bakke Dear. 

He was active in studying the Bible, playing tennis and piano, composing music, swimming, water-color painting, reading and traveling. He enjoyed playing soccer and basketball with his grandkids, and was an integral help in home-schooling grandkids Asher, Adeline, and Hartley. 

Ralph had a heart of gold, was full of joy, music, good puns, positivity, and good advice.  He lived his life for the Lord and spread His joy and hope to others through his care and kindness. He leaves a legacy of making life count for eternity and leaves us with peace knowing we will see him again in Heaven.

Celebration of Life will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at Christian Fellowship Church, 1100 Millersburg Road, Evansville, IN.  with Pastor David Niednagel officiating. A Live Stream will be available beginning twenty minutes prior to the service time. Please visit, select your loved one’s obituary, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click Live Stream. Burial will be in Sunset Cemetery.  

Friends may visit from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 4, 2021 at Boone Funeral Home East Chapel – A Family Tradition Funeral Home, 5330 Washington Avenue, Evansville, In.

Friends may visit from 9:00 a.m. until time of service, Tuesday day, October 5, 2021 at Christian Fellowship Church, 1100 Millersburg Road, Evansville, IN. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a ministry dear to his heart: Cru, PO Box 628222, Orlando, FL 32862-8222 or at 

Condolences may be made to the family online at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ralph Cannon Dear Sr., please visit our floral store.


October 4, 2021

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Boone Funeral Home (Washington Ave, Memorial Park Cemetery)

October 5, 2021

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Christian Fellowship Church (Millersburg Road, Evansville)

Celebration of Life
October 5, 2021

10:00 AM
Christian Fellowship Church (Millersburg Road, Evansville)

Video is available for this event

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