Cover photo for G Alden Sears's Obituary
G Alden Sears Profile Photo
1924 G 2019

G Alden Sears

September 9, 1924 — May 7, 2019

G. Alden Sears, 94, lately of Keene, New Hampshire, died peacefully in the wee hours of May 7, 2019, at the side of his cherished wife of 73 years, Sylvia Gray Sears, originally from Keene, at his residence at American House Keene (formerly Bentley Commons).

In the preceding days and hours, he had been surrounded and embraced by his children, their spouses, and most of his grandchildren

Consistently described as “gentle and kind” he was a resilient child of the Depression. He was born on September 9, 1924, in Ludlow, VT, to Glenn E. and Rachel V. (Prouty) Sears. Circumstances caused him to grow up early on family farms in Vermont where he acquired a formidable work ethic and learned skills he would use all his days to maintain and improve his home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the three old summer cottages in Winchester, New Hampshire in which he invested much sweat and ingenuity. He created, with his wife Sylvia, a special community where family members have recreated, renewed their ties to each other, and welcomed new members over generations.

He graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, earning admission to Bates College from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He went on to New York University where he completed his master’s and doctoral degrees. His first full-time job was at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he taught economics and soon became chairman of the Department of Economics and Business. He remained chairman until he retired, enjoying the respect and affection of his academic community, to which he contributed by building an evening program and introducing a part-time MBA degree. He consistently supported the College philanthropically. He was the first faculty member elected to the College’s Board of Trustees. He and Sylvia served as advisers to the International Students Association and when they lived on campus offered housing—with the family—to a series of students from Asia and Africa.

Joyfully frugal in his own affairs (capable of straightening used nails and re-siding a building with leftovers from the town dump or patching a car with aluminum siding) he was consistently generous with both his means and his energies. Beneficiaries of his philanthropy included his various almae matres and the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Perhaps his favorite charity was the Housing Opportunity Association, which he founded with fellow members of his church congregation. The Association created a financial model by which families unlikely to afford a home were given low interest loans subsidized and secured by the Association. A key ingredient was that members of the Association added equity by personally renovating the homes to be purchased by needy families. He served on various boards, most notably as chairman of the board of Bethlehem’s Redevelopment Authority.

In New Hampshire, he was among the first to sign on as a volunteer lake water quality tester under a new state program, learning the science, testing techniques, and over years of sampling establishing the baseline of information for Forest Lake in Winchester.

From the time he met her, and their marriage on March 23, 1946, to his final hours, his wife Sylvia was his constant companion, his North Star, his wise counselor, and his joy. They were seldom apart and when so, eager to be reunited. Their ways were quiet and understated, but ever and always characterized by tenderness and abundant respect. When they couldn’t go out dancing any more (night driving) they danced at home.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 73 years, Sylvia Gray Sears, originally from Keene; his three children: Stanton, Douglas, and Martha Sears Anderson; six grandchildren: Russell and Marshall Anderson, Sarah Sears Qin and Hannah Sears, Grayson Sears and Tansy Sears. He embraced and loved his children’s spouses, Andrea Myklebust-Sears, Mary Sears, Cathy Anastasion, and Douglas Anderson. And by the breadth of his lifespan he was blessed to welcome the spouses of his grandchildren, Yening Qin, Kathryn McKeller, and Stephanie Jaros and Hannah Campbell.

His material legacy is abundant but his descendants would say his greatest legacy is to be found in the loving ways that we may hope to emulate and, in time, pass along.

At the request of the family, there are no public services being planned at this time. Burial will take place at a later date, in the Evergreen Cemetery in Winchester.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the general scholarship endowed funds of St. Johnsbury Academy, Bates College, or Moravian College.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of G Alden Sears, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 36

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree