Richard Robert Shearin passed away peacefully at home on June 25, 2019, after a six-year battle with brain cancer.
Richard was born in Washington, DC to Willard Elrie and Vondilee Cooper Shearin, and was raised in Northeast DC. He spent many of his childhood summers on his grandparents’ farm in North Carolina, of which he held many happy memories of farm life and playing with his cousins. Music and church were a part of his life from a young age, both singing in the local Baptist Church and running around the Franciscan Monastery after school. In high school, he learned to play the accordion and joined a square dance band and a polka band.
After graduating from McKinley Technical High School in Northeast Washington, he enrolled in art school with the dream of becoming a commercial artist. He soon realized that art as a career “took all the fun out of it” for him, however. He enrolled at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, WV, where he earned a BA in economics. Richard served for six months of active duty in the US Army after graduating, and another five years in the Army Reserves. He worked for a few years as a property manager and for the DC Government, but spent most of his career (42 years) as an appraiser for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development until his retirement in 2014.
Music and art remained prominent throughout Richard’s life. He was a professional church soloist in his early adult life, and continued singing in church choirs and playing in the handbell choir until his diagnosis with brain cancer. He spent many late nights helping his children with art projects for school, and would make up songs on the fly for them. He was also a diehard Washington Redskins fan and would’ve sworn they only won when he missed the game.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Joyce; his brother, Willard Jr.; and his niece, Sharon. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Barbara; brother-in-law Albert; daughters Rebecca and Amanda; son John; sons-in-law Scott and Randy; grandchildren Aidan, William, and Fiona; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Richard Shearin may be directed to support the Brain Cancer Program at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Please make checks payable to Johns Hopkins University. Gifts may be mailed with a memo indicating that this gift is in memory of Richard Robert Shearin to the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, 750 East Pratt Street, Suite 1700, Baltimore, MD 21202 or make a gift online.
Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers may also be made to support the Maureen Steinecke Fund at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. Please make checks payable to St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, and mail to PO Box 1166, Laurel, MD 20725-1166.
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