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Sara J. “Sally” Stear

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Sara J. “Sally” Stear


Cozad Resident:

Sara Jane “Sally” Stear, 86, of Cozad went to be with her Savior on April 2nd, 2019, at Cozad Care and Rehabilitation Center. Sally was born on July 1st, 1932 in Cozad to Bill and Deline (Morris) Lewis. She graduated in 1950 from Cozad High School. She attended Nebraska Wesleyan for two years and then took Med Tech training at Bryan Memorial Hospital. Sally married Ron Stear in 1953 and they spent a year in Alaska where Sally was a Med Tech and Ron served in the military. From there they moved back to the Cozad area to begin farming. Together they had three daughters, Jayne, Cathy, and Debbie.

From an early age, Sally loved reading and school. Sally was a life long learner and avid reader. Referring to playing school as a child, she wrote, “I guess I have played a version of school all my life.” In 1967 she received her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and taught 6th grade math in Cozad for several years. She got an endorsement for secondary education in 1987, and taught high school math in San Bernardino, California for two years. In 1999, she received a Masters Degree and taught at Central Community College in Kearney.

Family was always her passion and she worked tirelessly to make family times special. Sally played the piano as well as being a talented seamstress. She had wonderful friends throughout her life who shared her love of bridge, reading, Bible study, and music.

It was during the middle season of her life that she really searched for spiritual answers. She wrote “God brought me to a place where I was so totally hopeless that I had no choice but to surrender to Him. Plan A wasn’t working and I had no plan B. In desperation I just gave it all to God. That’s when my life changed forever and God’s blessing began to pour over me.”

She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers. Survivors include; three daughters, Jayne (Doug) Gayman of Newberry, South Carolina, Cathy (Dave) Hanna of Imperial, Nebraska and Debbie (Mike) Neill of Cozad, Nebraska, as well as her 9 grandchildren: Amy (Frank) Stokes of Charleston, South Carolina, Kate (James) Clarke of Charleston, South Carolina, Kelly (Ryan) Wheeler of Benton, Louisiana, Matt (Tanna) Hanna of Imperial, Nebraska, Michael Hanna of Los Angeles, California, Stephen (Erika) Hanna of Cozad, Nebraska, Micah Neill of Lincoln, Nebraska, Andrea Neill of Lincoln, Nebraska and Jonathan Neill of Cozad, Nebraska, as well as 12 great grandchildren. Memorials are suggested to Wilson Public Library, Restoration Ministries, and Salvation Army. Online condolences may be shared at

Memorial services will be held Saturday, April 13th, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the Berryman Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Roger Daum officiating. Cremation was chosen. Those wishing to sign the memorial book may do so on Friday, April 12th, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Berryman Funeral Home.