Dr. Raymond Shearer


Dr. Raymond Shearer

April 11, 1933 - July 15, 2010

Raymond Orville Shearer, 77, passed away on July 15, 2010, in Walla Walla, Washington. He was born April 11, 1933, in Seattle, Washington to Dr. Frank "Bill" and Bernice "Deer" Shearer. The family moved to Toppenish, Washington shortly after Raymond's birth, where his father set up his medical practice to care for this underserved community. Patients that didn't have money for medical care were never turned away. Raymond was raised with this work ethic and devotion to the Toppenish area. At the height of the Depression, it was also important to Dr. Frank to live in an area with plenty of agriculture, because he knew his family wouldn't go hungry.

Raymond and his younger sister, Marilene, were constant playmates and companions. As teens and music fans, they once snuck into a performance in Portland and met Louis Armstrong. Raymond played both the piano and clarinet and developed a life-long love of swing and big band music. Ray became a pilot at a young age. He had many stories of waterskiing on irrigation canals pulled behind the family car.

During World War II, Dr. Frank and family were stationed at Salinas, California, where Frank was a Captain in the Army. While in Salimas, little brother Douglas was born. The family later returned to Toppenish to stay. Raymond graduated from Toppenish High School in 1951. He graduated from Walla Walla College (now University) in 1956 in a Chemistry Degree.

In 1956, he was briefly in the US Army, collecting radiation data in New Mexico, and also stationed at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D. C. In New Mexico, he met and married Frances Rester. In 1958, he entered medical school at The College of Medical Evangelists (now Loma Linda University) in Loma Linda, California. His first daughter, Donna, was born that same year. His second daughter, Barbara, was born in 1961. The family moved to Portland in 1963 for Ray's Internship at Portland (Oregon) Sanitarium.

Dr. Ray then joined father, Dr. Frank, and uncle, Dr. Ed, at their Toppennish Family Medicine clinic. Later, Dr. Doug also joined the Shearer practice. Daughter, Renee, was born in 1966 and son, Jeff, (finally a boy!) was born in 1968.

In 1978, Raymond married Ann Schmella and brought her daughter Julie (Coe) into the family. In 1982, Brent Raymond was born to the couple. The family tirelessly attended swim meets, basketball games, and football games to cheer for Brent.

Raymond fearlessly lived his life, seeking adventure. He was a devout snow skier and barefoot water skier. He entered competition water ski jumping, even in the senior division, and was almost always assured a trophy. He was passionate about piloting his Cessna. He enjoyed photography and his Porches. Proud of his Scottish heritage, he deeply delved into the genealogy of the Shearer family. With son Brent, he visited the ancient family farm in Scotland and Ontario, Canada, to gather information and photographs.

Raymond retired from medicine in 2006. In 2008, he moved to Walla Walla, Washington, to be nearer to his children. After his retirement he enjoyed perusing his genealogy research, looking at his photography, listening to swing music and dancing. He suffered from Parkinson's disease for 9 years, but didn't complain or feel sorry for himself and maintained his quirky sense of humor until his death. When his Parkinson's didn't allow him to walk, he still found he could dance and sing.

He is survived by his daughters Donna (Perry) Spencer, Barbara (Rick) Dunlap, Dr. Renee (David) Shearer Schroetlin, all of Walla Walla; son, Jeffrey Shearer of Richland; grandchildren Jason Dunlap and Hannah and Arik Schroetlin of Walla Walla; father and step-mother, Frank and Hellyn Shearer of Sunnyside, Washington; sister, Marlene (Tim) Foster and brother, Dr. Douglas (Marilyn) Shearer, both of Toppenish.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Bernice, in 1996 and son, Brent, in 2003.

The memorial service will be 1:00 p.m., Monday, at the Colonial Funeral Home, 228 Alder Street, Toppenish, Washington. Memorial contributions may be made to the Loma Linda University School of Medicine through Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362.

Friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook at www.mountainview-colonialdewitt.com


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in