Joel Van Fears, Sr.

Tributes~Joel Van Fears, Sr.

Joel Van Fears, Sr.
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Date of Birth: 
August 10 1938
Date of Death: 
May 21 2017

Joel Van Fears, Sr., the youngest of seven children, was born on August 10, 1938 in Lufkin, Texas, to Jonathan T. Fears, Sr., and Belma Denman Fears, both deceased. Fears, a U.S. Navy veteran, retired from NASA, John F. Kennedy Space Center, after 30 years as an electrical engineer and project manager. After retirement, he was employed halftime for three years at Daytona Beach Community College, now Daytona State College.

Mr. Fears was a graduate of Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas, was a life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the National Technical Association. He was an active member who served as First Vice-President of the Daytona Beach Branch NAACP, Vice President of the John H. Dickerson Friends of the Library and held membership in the Daytona Beach Amateur Radio Association.

Fears was an active member of Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church for forty plus years. He served as the church's Lay Leader, Administrative Council Chair, Trustee Board Chair, Scouting Coordinator and the Boy Scouts of America program for more than thirty-five years as Scoutmaster, Cub Master, Scouting Coordinator and member of the District Committee on scouting. He also served the United Methodist Church at the District level as President of the United Methodist Men and Lay Leader on many committees. His Florida Conference level service was to the Board of Laity and United Methodist Men's Conference Committee.

Mr. Fears received the following honors: John F. Kennedy Space Center, NASA, Sustained Superior Performance Award; Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church, Man of the Year Award, 1982, 1994, 2002; Daytona Beach Branch, NAACP Award for Going Beyond the Call of Duty and Life Membership Certificate; Deland District, United Methodist Men's Award for Outstanding Service Rendered as President; Boy Scouts of America, Silver Beaver Award for Distinguished Service (this is the highest award attainable for a Boy Scout Leader); Kennedy Space Center Black Employee Strategic Team Certificate; NAACP Humanitarian Award for Relentless Efforts Working with Community Youth; Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church Award for Years of Spiritual Growth, Leadership and Untiring Service.

Joel teamed with his wife of 49 years, Mary J. Fears, as a Civil War Reenactor and Technical Assistant in the production of the award winning docudrama, "Filling the Gap," a nominee for the 42nd Annual NAACP Award.

Mr. Fears leaves to mourn his memory, his loving and devoted wife, Mary Jackson Fears, a son, Joel V. Fears, Jr., a stepson, John H. Anderson, Jr., a grand stepson, John H. Anderson, III; a sister, Shirley Davis and brother-in-law, Reverend Milbrew Davis, three nieces Sabrina and Tammy Davis and Roxie Ringer; four sisters-in-law, Doris Fears, Sheralynn J. Brinson, Doris J. Goins (Ellis), Christine J. Johnson; nephews, Julius and James Fears, and Charles Davis, along with a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Media data: 
Place of Birth: 
Lufkin, Texas, United States
Place of Death: 
Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Primary State of Residence: 
Daytona Beach, Florida, United States

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