Lifelong Alaska resident Darwin H. "Bim" Mears, 45, died Dec. 29, 2003, at his family home in Ketchikan, following a year-long battle with cancer.
He was born Dec. 18, 1958, to Audrey and Darwin Mears Sr., in Ketchikan. He graduated from Ketchikan High School in 1977 and attended college in Yakima, Wash., and Rapid City, S.D. Early in his career, he worked in the timber industry as an accountant. Later in his life, he became a youth counselor and worked in construction.
His family said he harbored a passion for sports and outdoor activities, and was a talented baseball player who enjoyed basketball and golfing. He spent a great deal of his free time hunting, fishing and hiking, and he later became an avid scuba diver.
He was a member of the Assembly of God Church.
"Darwin loved his family and many friends, and he enjoyed giving a helping hand to all who were in need," said family members. "His big, loving heart and caring ways, along with his warm, gentle smile will be greatly missed, but will be carried in the hearts of his family and friends forever."
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Ronald and Hazel Mears and Andrew and Nellie Mather.
He is survived by his parents, Audrey and Darwin Sr.; sisters, Danalee Orcutt of Ketchikan, Belinda (Leo) Barlow of Anchorage, Melanie (Doyle) Canada of Burney, Calif., and Margo (Fred) Ochsner of Sapula, Okla.; aunts, Edna Jackson of Eagle River, Donna Munson of Olympia, Wash., and Laverne Mears of Ketchikan; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A private memorial service was held in Ketchikan on Jan. 2. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be sent to the American Cancer Society, 1057 West Fireweed Lane, Suite 204, Anchorage, AK 99503.