After a long life well-lived, Hubert Russell O’Rear, 92, of Friendswood, Texas, passed away Aug. 10, 2019 in his home following a 15-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He will be buried at Old Friendship cemetery in Chester County. Doug Burleson will officiate funeral services at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Shackelford Funeral Directors, 619 East Main Street, Henderson.
He was born on April 28, 1927, the second child to Earl and Bernice O’Rear, in a little farm house on the bank of the Red River seven miles from Idabel, Okla. The delivering doctor had to get to the house on a horse or mule over a dirt road from old highway 21. Having no running water, the O’Rears drew their water from a well and used an outhouse. His early education was in a two-room school house.
In the final year of World War II, he was drafted into the Army Air Force and trained as an aircraft mechanic. Following the war, he worked for three years at the Red River Arsenal and for three years for Chance-Vought Aircraft in Grand Prairie, Texas, helping build F7U Navy fighter planes. He then joined Braniff Airlines in Dallas, Texas, where he worked for 26 years in engine overhaul until 1982 when Braniff went into bankruptcy and out of business. He afterwards worked for 10 years for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department before retiring in 1993.
On April 21, 1957, a week before his 30th birthday, he married Mattie Florene Naylor. He had seen her during a family vacation visit to the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis in 1955, where he snatched her address from the museum guest book and began a letter writing courtship. After they were married, the couple lived for 58 years in Farmers Branch in Dallas, Texas, where he was a deacon in the Webb Chapel Church of Christ for 44 years. He fathered two children, Rachel, now deceased, who for quite a time was a missionary with her husband Barry in West Africa, and Patrick, who is an engineer in the NASA space program.
Gifted with a melodious voice, he sang in his church in the Dallas Town North Barbershop Chorus and in the Farmers Branch Senior Center Ukelele Band. In January 2017, he and Florene moved to Village on the Park in Friendswood to be near their son, Patrick and his wife, Laura.
He is survived by his wife, Florene; his son, Patrick (Laura); grandchildren, Connor O’Rear, Mackenzie O’Rear, Andrew Baggott and Matthew Baggott; son in law, Barry Baggott; step-grandson, Ashton Krawietz and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his daughter, Rachel Irene O’Rear Baggott; sisters, Ada Elizabeth O’Rear Hurley and Marjorie Ruth O’Rear Farren; and step-grandson Dylan Krawietz.