James Winston Lear

October 5, 1929May 2, 2018
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James (Jim) Winston Lear aged 88 years, passed away Wednesday May 2, 2018 surrounded by his family. He was born in Pontiac, Michigan on October 5, 1929 to the late Wayne P. Lear and Alice Jarrett Lear. Jim was raised in North Canton and graduated from North Canton High School where he played football. During the Korean Conflict, Jim was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. An avid card player, he could be found most evenings in a card game at either Fraternal Order of Eagles or Amvets of Canton. After retiring from Portec in Canton, he enjoyed annual trips with his brother to Las Vegas and Florida.

He was preceded in death by his wife Nancy (Simmons) Lear, his ex-wife Elaine Lear, sons James W. Lear ll, Steven Simmons and Jim’s younger brother Larry Lear. He is survived by his children Lynda Lear and Deborah (Jay) Koval, Bill (Annette) Simmons, Bob Lear and daughter-in-law Iris Simmons. Grandchildren are B.J. Lear, Nate (Carrah) Lear, Jeff (Kalyn Kappelman) Bowen, Crystal (Donnie) Hall, Vanessa (Mike) Spencer, Ashley Riley, Patrick Simmons, Tiffany Simmons and Stevie Simmons. Great grandchildren are Ryan Lear, Summer McMerrell, Jaimie Hall, Zach Koval, Ethan Spencer, Anneslee Riley, Wesley Riley, Alec Simmons, Evin Simmons, Mila Simmons, Alyssa Simmons and Nate Simmons. Also survived by loving nieces and nephews.

Jim was a good man and he will be missed by his family and friends.

The family would like to thank the staff at The Landing of Canton and the Aultman Compassionate Care Center at Woodlawn for their dedicated service.

Calling hours are scheduled for 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Monday, May 7, 2018 at the Karlo-Libby Funeral Home located at 5000 Everhard Road, Canton, Ohio. Funeral Services are planned for 11:00 AM, Tuesday May 8, 2018 at the Karlo-Libby Funeral Home to be followed by graveside services at Sunset Hills Memory Gardens located at 7920 Frank Avenue, North Canton, Ohio.


  • Visitation Monday, May 7, 2018
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, May 8, 2018

James Winston Lear

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Bill Simmons

May 24, 2018

We didn’t call you Dad, but you were our Dad.
When we first met you, I was 6 years old.
Deb, Steve and I were in foster care and our futures were grim.
One day a giant came to the foster home with our Mom, and he said “We are taking you home.” That was our first meeting.
From that day forward, you were our protector, provider and Dad.
Those early years had to be hard for you.
Raising another man's damaged children couldn't have been an easy job. But you never complained. You never would.
You also never got the thanks that you deserved.
I can’t imagine what our lives would have been without you.
We are who we are today, because of the kind of man you are.
Responsible, determined and never complaining about anything.
You showed us everyday what it was to be strong and dependable.
You taught us to stand by our word, fulfill our commitments and to not complain about life.
We were by your side during your final days, just as you have always been beside us.
Words of love and thanks were whispered in your ear as your time neared.
I know that you heard and felt our words and knew that we were with you.
Although we can never repay you for all that you have done, we will go on and make you proud.
Because we were raised by a GIANT of a man.

Love always,


Vanessa Spencer

May 6, 2018

I love you more than words can explain. You were the most amazing person i have ever met and i am so grateful that you loved my grandma the way you did. Thank you for being there for everything..for making time to visit..and for just thinking of me when you wanted to be somewhere other than home. Give grandma a kiss for me and tell her i love her. Ill see you again some day...until then you are in my heart always.

Crystal Hall

May 3, 2018

I love you so much grandpa, you were the strongest and most amazing man I've ever known and I cannot even begin to thank you for taking such great care of grandma and our family. There arent words to express the loss that we are feeling at this time, but to know that you are finally reunited with the greatest love of your life is truly a blessing. I love you grandma and grandpa❤