Wayne L. Bear, 93, passed away peacefully and in the presence of his children in Lee’s Summit on November 8, 2020 after a battle with Covid 19. He was lovingly cared for by amazing, skilled and compassionate nurses and doctors at St. Luke’s East Hospital during his stay there.
Wayne was born September 5, 1927 in Kansas City to Lelia and Geoffrey Bear and lived in Kansas City until the age of 9 when they moved to a farm in east Independence. Wayne attended Spring Branch Elementary School and helped with the farm and a small grocery store his parents owned on their property on east Truman Road. Wayne also spent many days exploring and playing on all the land surrounding their home with friends and his younger brother, Terry. He graduated from William Chrisman High School in 1945. After a short stint in the army between World War II and the Korean War, he returned home to finish his college degree and graduated from the University of Kansas City with a degree in Business in 1953. Immediately after graduation he went to work at Sheffield Steel which later became Armco Steel. He met the love of his life, Dona Folsom, also an employee at Sheffield, and they married in 1954. Wayne built their home in Independence where they raised their two children, Kristy and Kevin. Wayne continued his employment at Armco until his retirement in 1982. Dona and Wayne welcomed four grandchildren into their lives and cherished their time with them through the years. Because of his early retirement, Wayne and Dona were able to travel extensively throughout the world and had many wonderful adventures with friends, new and old. They spent time every summer with their kids at Table Rock Lake and eventually built a house on land they had purchased some years before. This house and the lake are enjoyed by their children and grandchildren each summer. Wayne also relished buying and remodeling property for rental. He was a skilled builder, carpenter and woodworker and was able to do anything that needed to be done to maintain his rental property. He also kept the house he grew up in on east Truman Road and surrounding property and mowed and maintained the buildings and rental properties there until he was in his late 80s. Wayne was active in First Christian Church of Independence as a deacon, an elder and church board member for many years.
Wayne was truly a wonderful, loving father and grandfather and always remained fiercely devoted to family. He will be terribly missed by those who survive him: his wife, Dona, his brother, Terry Bear, his children, Kristy Wopata (Steven), his son, Kevin Bear (Andrea), and his grandchildren, Ryan Cofer, Kyle Wopata (Danielle), Mollie Wopata, and Geoffrey Bear, as well as other extended family and friends.
A visitation and service will be held at a date still yet to be determined.
Donations in Wayne’s memory may be made to First Christian Church of Independence, 125 S Pleasant, Independence, MO 64050 or to St. Jude Children’s Hospital (stjude.org).
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.speakschapel.com (Arrangements: Carson-Speaks 816-252-7900