January 30, 1929 – April 18, 2017


Robert Franklin Fear, 88, of Effingham, and former resident of Newton, Illinois, passed away at 1:17 a.m., Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, Illinois.


Funeral services celebrating Robert’s life will be held 11:00 a.m., Saturday, April 22, 2017, at First Baptist Church in Newton, Illinois, with Rev. Stephen Willis officiating. Burial will be in the Westlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Newton, Illinois, with full military rites by the Jasper Post # 20 American Legion. Visitation will be held 2 hours before the service. In loving memory of Robert, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church. Arrangements are under the care of the Meyer Funeral Home in Newton, Illinois. The obituary can be viewed and condolences left at www.meyerfh.com.


Robert was born on January 30, 1929, in Newton, Illinois, the son of Ira Franklin and Arca Doris (Field) Fear. He married Mary Jean Cruce on April 17, 1952, in Marion, Kentucky. Robert graduated from Newton Community High School in 1947, and from Lockyear Business College in Evansville, Indiana. He owned and operated Newton Wholesale Company in Newton for over 50 years.


Robert was a Korean War Veteran, serving from October 22, 1948, until his honorable discharge on August 21, 1952. He served as a Staff Sergeant in United States Air Force and was stationed in the Philippines.


Robert was one of the founders of the Jasper County Boys and Girls Park and had served as a board member. He enjoyed watching three generations of his family play there.


Robert was a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church in Newton, Illinois, where he served on various boards. As a strong advocate of public education, he served on the Jasper County School Board as well as the Regional Office of Education Board.


Robert was a longtime Newton City Council Board member who at one time served as an interim mayor. He was also a volunteer of the Jasper County Senior Citizens Center. He was a proud supporter and advocate of “EVERYTHING NEWTON”


Robert was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He was very proud of his family and enjoyed time spent with them.


Robert is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary Jean Fear of Effingham; children, Stephen (Terry) Fear of Newton, Gregory Scott (Kandy) Fear of Hopkinsville, Kentucky and Robert Bradley (Connie) Fear of Charleston; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; brother, Keith A. (Nancy) Fear of Newton.


Robert was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Phyllis Fuget.