Roger Wilson Reynolds Sears
Obituary and Life Sketch
Roger Wilson Reynolds Sears, 93, "graduated" quietly on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in his Legacy House apartment in Spanish Fork, Utah.
Roger was born to John Leslie and Elizabeth Wilson Reynolds in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1927. His father passed away suddenly when Roger was 5. A couple years later, Roger and his younger sister, Betsy, were blessed with the kindest, most nurturing stepfather imaginable, Gordon Heber Sears and the family move to the Washington, D. C. area. Four years later, they welcomed younger sister Martha Alice.
While High School, Roger met lifelong friend Jim Stubbs. Roger and Jim helped build some of the first cottages in newly formed Southern Shores, North Carolina, during which time his attachment to the Outer Banks and ocean activities deepened.
Near the end of WWII, Roger served in the U.S. Navy as an aerial photography and electronics technician, based in Pensacola, Florida.
After serving in the Navy, he attended Brigham Young University and received his undergraduate degree in political science. He was president of both the Blue Key club and Val Hyric. While at BYU, Roger met Grace Florence Stone, and they were married in 1948in the Salt Lake Temple.
In 1950 Grace and Roger had their first child, Rodger. Two years later, while Roger was attending Georgetown University Dental School in Washington, D.C., they welcomed Jackye into the family.
After receiving his degree in 1955, Roger opened a dental practice in Gaithersburg, Maryland, becoming the first full-time dentist in Gaithersburg. Roger was a member of the INS Committee of the Maryland State Dental Association and held memberships in the Southern Maryland Dental Society and the Delta Sigma Delta Dental Fraternity. Roger was active in Scouting and one of the many highlights of his life was taking his Explorer troop to the National Scout Jamboree at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
Sheryl Grace (aka Shari) was born in 1957. Three years later, the family moved a tiny , old home lovingly known to the family as the "Gingerbread House" in Washington Grove, a quaint, small town adjacent to Gaithersburg. In 1962, Melissa was born.
Roger was a town councilman in Washington Grove for six years. He was a board member of Gaithersburg Rotary Club, chairman of Vocational Community Service and International Service, and a Boy Scout pack chairman cubmaster.
Roger took little interest in accumulating personal wealth. He kept his fees lower than most in the area and adjusted accounts of patients who were struggling. Whenever possible, he did his own lab work in such situations, to keep costs down. He often accepted vegetables, beef, fish, or services in exchange for dental work--sometimes completely zeroing out accounts.
His many talents and interests ranged from antiquing to Zumba. His passion for music led him to perform with many choirs over the years. He sang professionally with The Intervals, a quartet that performed at nightclubs and in radio and TV commercials. No one could lead congregational singing like Roger! He was invited to sing with the Concert Chorale of the Outer Banks at the International Church Music Festival (ICMF), in the Chester Cathedral in England. Singing in that setting with musicians from around the world was a significant milestone for him.
He loved to dance. He and Betsy were champions at a variation of the jitterbug, known as The Washington Cat and performed on demand on the dance floor. He also enjoyed square dancing, ballroom, country line, and even clogging. He skied on snow and water, hiked, and rode horses.
In the late 1970's Roger moved his practice to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where he excelled at sailing and bodysurfing, and became the 73rd Certified Windsurfing Instructor in the nation. He chaired the first planning board for the town of Kitty Hawk before incorporation and was chairman of the Dare County Board of Health. He served as an advisor to the Governor to increase the number of dentists in North Carolina. Roger was instrumental in helping at least four new dentists get their start on the Outer Banks.
He loved traveling and meeting people and enjoyed the richness and diversity he found. By sharing his talents and what he learned from others, he strove to make the world a kinder and more interesting place.
A great part of his life was spent in service to others. He found ways to serve--whether as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, civically, or just by observing those around him. He noticed those in need and helped wherever he could, even if just brightening their day with a smile and a cheery word.
At the age of eighty he retired, sold his residence, and moved in with his daughter and son-in-law. He finally had both his knees replaced--something he had put off for fifteen years, not wanting to inconvenience his patients. Three years later he moved in with dear friends in Moyock, N.C.
In 2015, he moved to Utah to be closer to his sisters, his children, and grandchildren. Prior to that, he donated his antique collection of dental equipment and furniture to East Carolina University and the Country Doctor Museum in Bailey, North Carolina.
Roger was preceded in death by his father, John Leslie Reynolds, his stepfather, Gordon Heber Sears, his mother, Elizabeth Wilson Reynolds Sears, his sister, Elizabeth (Betsy) Anne Sears Christensen, his wife, Grace Florence Stone Sears, by his half-brother, John (Jack) Fisher Reynolds, his half-sister, Louise Reynolds Yanik, his stillborn son, Gordon Frank Sears, and brothers-in-law, A. Kent Christensen and Stephen A. West; by son-in-law Donald (Rusty) Keith Dodson II, grandson Jacob Matthew Dodson, and granddaughter-in-law Jennifer Brown Dodson.
He is survived by sister, Martha Alice Sears West; dear friend and companion, Hope Slaughter, his four children, Rodger Stone Reynolds Sears (Lorna), Jackye Reynolds (Elizabeth Strugatz), Sheryl (Shari) Grace Sears Dodson, Melissa Jayne Sears Moore (Brad), fifteen grandchildren, an ever-growing number of great-grandchildren, and many loving nieces and nephews and
Roger cherished his last few years at Legacy House Assisted Living. We are so thankful for the loving care, support, and especially his close community of friends, consisting of both staff and residents. We are also grateful for the continuing opportunities to serve he was given. He felt respected, appreciated, and valued right to the end. He also loved their food--something he never failed to mention. His happiness made us, his children, happy.
A favorite pearl of wisdom, which he shared frequently, was that love is a shared commitment to purpose. Roger's lifelong example of service, compassion, and love spoke louder than any phrase or definition he could have offered.
A memorial and family commemoration of Roger's life will be held on April 23, 2022 at 1:00 at 1316 So. Main St, Mapleton, Utah and interment with Military Honors on Monday, April 25, 2022 at 10:00 am at the Springville Evergreen Cemetery in Springville, Utah.
To view the memorial remotely, go to Legacy Funerals & Cremations Facebook page.
To leave condolence and share memories of Roger, visit www.legacyfunerals.com