George Elmer Wear (July 28, 1919 — Nov. 12, 2018)
George Elmer Wear, United States Army Brigadier General (Retired), passed away peacefully at the age of 99 surrounded by family in Virginia on Monday, November 12, 2018. He is survived by Betty, his loving wife of 68 years, daughters Trish Thomas and Jessie Napolitano, son George H. Wear, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
George was born July 28, 1919 near Maybell, Colorado and raised on ranches in Northwestern Colorado on the Yampa and White Rivers and in the town of Meeker. He graduated from Rio Blanco County High School in 1937 and completed an associate degree in civil engineering at Mesa County Junior College in Grand Junction, Colorado in 1939.
George went to the US Military Academy (West Point) and graduated on June 6, 1944 (Normandy D-Day). He served in the army for 30 years – with combat tours in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. After West Point, he was sent to Europe with the 106th Division as a platoon leader where he fought in the Battle of Bulge where he was seriously wounded and hospitalized in England. He would return to his unit just prior to VE Day and spend the next two years with the occupation forces in Germany. After the war, he was an instructor in the Weapons Department of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. While there he met and married Betty Honnen.
In December 1951, he joined the 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division in the Korean War where he would participate in three campaigns as a company commander, regimental operations officer and battalion commander. George would also serve two tours in the Vietnam War. In 1967-1968, he commanded the 3rd Brigade 25th Infantry Division Task Force. He returned to Vietnam in 1971 to serve for two years in the Highlands area as the II Corps Deputy Senior Advisor. He retired from the military June 1974 as a brigadier general.
Upon retiring from the military, he and Betty returned to his beloved Western Colorado to settle in Glenwood Springs for 34 years. George worked four years for the Governor of Colorado assisting in the administration of the state Oil Shale Trust Fund and 10 years for Mid-Continent Resources. In 1988, he fully retired and spent the next 20 years in Colorado involved with his wife and family and activities such as the Rotary Club, the hospital board and the church vestry. He became an avid hiker, skier, vegetable gardener, and hot springs pool swimmer. With the 100 Club hiking group, he logged over 4,000 mountain miles, including climbing 22 of Colorado’s peaks over 14,000 feet elevation, all accomplished after he turned 70. In addition, George and Betty enjoyed socializing with their many good friends in Glenwood.
In 2008, George and Betty moved into The Fairfax, a military retirement community near Ft Belvoir, Virginia, where they enjoyed 10 years together reconnecting with old military friends and taking pleasure in family visits.