Born: October 14, 1953
Died: October 10, 2013
James L. Gearing, Jr., 59, called Jim by his family, died
peacefully in Austin on October 10, 2013 from complications of multiple sclerosis.!
A graduate of Killeen High School and long-time Killeen resident, Jim
was born on October 14, 1953 in Bad Kreusnacht, Germany, while his
father, James L. Gearing, Sr., was stationed in Germany with the U.S.
Army. The family moved to Killeen in 1958 following postings at Fort Lewis,Washington, and Fort Richardson, Alaska. After graduating from Killeen
High School in 1971, Jim attended the University of Texas on a naval
national merit scholarship, where his happiest hours were spent playing the bass horn and marching with the Longhorn Band.Jim left the University in 1972 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he
rose to the rank of Petty Officer, Second Class. His service on the nuclear submarine USS Pargo was highly praised by his superiors, resulting in the award of a National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Award, and
Navy Unit Commendation. Honorably discharged from the Navy in 1978,
Jim returned to Killeen, where he finished two years at what was then
Central Texas Junior College. In 1989, Jim was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease that
eventually disabled him. Although MS inexorably robbed him of his ability to walk, then to drive, then to live independently, Jim never complained, never
asked, why me? He faced his disease with courage, grace, and dignity, knowing it might eventually kill him, but living each day as it came.Jim’s parents, Killeen residents James L. Gearing and Doris (Agricola) Gearing, preceded him in death. Jim is survived by his brother,
Alfred F. Gearing of Houston and Al’s wife Chryl Hoz; his sister, Lin Hughes of Austin; two nephews, Mark Hughes and his wife Jennifer, of Austin, and Jared Gearing of Houston; two nieces, Jayde(Gearing) Hagen and her
husband Nathan of Fort Campbell, Tennessee, and Amber Gearing of
Houston; and several cousins.
After a private ceremony, Jim will be interred at Central Texas
Veterans Cemetery in Killeen.