Published 7:00 pm Friday, April 6, 2007

By Staff
1939 – 2007
Nathaniel Bennett “Heavy” Sears, 68, of Ocracoke died Wednesday, April 4, 2007, at Sentara Leigh Hospital, Norfolk, Va. after a lengthy illness.
A life-long resident of Hyde County, he was born March 20, 1939 to Daniel Webster and Mary Gibbs Sears. He made his home in Fairfield from 1939 to 1983 when he moved to Ocracoke Island. He received his education in the East Hyde School, Port Security School, IT School, Obstructional Fire Fighting School at Naval Base, Norfolk, Va. And attended mosquito control schools and had a real knowledge of airport, roads and highway construction. He served for ten years in the U. S. Coast Guard as second class engineman, 1959-69 and worked as a self-employed farmer from 1966 to 1981 and was a retired maintenance employee of the N.C. Department of Transportation having worked most of those years on Ocracoke. He also worked with Ocracoke Crab Company and later as Ocracoke Mosquito Control Officer. He was a member of the All Saints Episcopal Church in Fairfield.
Mr. Sears, currently serving as a member of the Hyde County Board of Commissioners as a representative of the Ocracoke District, was long active in many civic and community affairs where he could make a difference for Hyde County. He was a member of the former Fairfield Ruritan Club, served as treasurer of Mattamuskeet Jaycees. He served on the Scenic Byways Committee, Southern Albemarle Association, The Albemarle Commission, the Hyde County Recreational Development Committee, was a county representative to the Rural Planning Organization for the First District and the Hyde County Revolving Loan Fund Board. On Ocracoke, he was a member of the Ocracoke Business and Civic Assn., the Historic Preservation Committee and represented Ocracoke and the county on the Regional Rural Development and Recreation Board. He was active in the petitioning of the State for mainland to Ocracoke ferry service and also the establishment of the ABC stores in the county.
He was a prior recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Hyde County Jaycees and also was recognized as “Outstanding Young Man of America” by the Jaycees in 1971 and he enjoyed “playing” Santa Claus around the county in all 9 communities for many years and seeing happy children.
Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Fairfield United Methodist Church. Ann Dale, Episcopal Lay Reader will officiate. Burial will follow on the family plot in Fairfield Cemetery.
Surviving are a son, Trevor Sears of Greenville and Manteo; a daughter, Rhonda Sears of Manteo; a granddaughter, Rhianna Sears of Manteo; a brother, Charles Sears of Fairfield; six sisters, Marie S. Barnhill of Williamston, Marlis S. Smith of Fairfield, Sarah S. Spencer of Williamston, Mary S. Armstrong of Fairfield, Amanda S. Schmitt of Engelhard and Janet S. Russ of Fairfield; his former wife, Brenda Payne Ward and her son, Sherald Ward, Jr. of Kill Devil Hills.
The Family will receive friends at Bryan Funeral Service in Swan Quarter on Saturday evening, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and at other times at the home of Marlis S. Smith, Piney Woods Road, Fairfield.
The family suggests that memorials be directed to Nathan B. Sears Memorial Scholarship, c/o The East Carolina Bank, P. O. Box 337, Engelhard, N.C. 27824 .
Arrangements are by Bryan Funeral Service, Swan Quarter where online sympathy expressions may be sent by using
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