Richard Drew Fearing, Sr. was born December 9, 1927, to Andrew Coatsworth and Helen (Reef) Fearing, in Poughkeepsie, New York. His older brother, Andrew, was born twenty years earlier. The family moved to Columbus, Ohio when Richard was a toddler. In 1945, Richard graduated from a private high school, Mount Vernon Academy, on a stretcher. He had seriously injured a leg months earlier in an auto accident.
In 1950, Richard graduated from Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University, in Takoma Park, Maryland. He earned degrees in theology and history. He met his wife, Claoma Suhrie, at college, and the two married in September 1951.
Richard Fearing served the Seventh-day Adventist church for forty years as a pastor and administrator. He pastored churches in Reading, Fleetwood, and Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Hinsdale, Illinois, College Place, Washington, and Frederick, Maryland. In College Place, Richard pastored the home church for Walla Walla University. he served as president of the Mountain View (West Virginia and Eastern Maryland) Conference, Upper Columbia (Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and Northeastern Oregon) Conference, and North Pacific (Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon) Union of SDAs.
Richard delivered thoughtful, intelligent sermons. He served as a pastor, not only to laypeople, but to many other pastors during his administrative roles. Although being a preacher, Richard taught others about a forgiving, humble, and dedicated Christian life through example, not through preaching.
Richard Fearing died on Monday, July 18, 2022, at age 94 at his daughter June’s home in Mount Vernon, WA. He was surrounded by his children during his last illness. Richard had two heart bypass surgeries a decade apart. Through exercise and healthy eating, he outlived the predictions of his children as to his life expectancy by decades. He was preceded in death by his wife, Claoma in 2000 and his second wife, Jeanne McMahen in 2006. He married Helen Lickey in 2007. He is survived by his wife, Helen, Portland, OR; son, Richard (Cindy), Gresham, OR; daughter, Joy Krause, Loma Linda, CA; son, George (Maurina), Spokane, WA; daughter, June (Monte) Saxby, Mount Vernon, WA; daughter, Jane (Jonathan) Fish, Ellensburg, WA; 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service on Saturday, September 3, 2022, at 4 p.m. at the North Cascade Seventh-day Adventist Church, 800 Peacock Lane, Burlington, WA.