Mr. James David “JD” Mears, age 87 died Friday, July 31, 2009. He was born and educated in Edgecombe County. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 where his patrol craft was the first United States vessel hit by enemy fire during the D Day invasion. Mr. Mears was a Purple Heart recipient. He also served in the Okinawa invasion. Mr. Mears was discharged from the Navy in 1945 as a Chief Petty Officer. Following his service to our country, he owned and operated Mears Jewelry in Enfield, North Carolina from 1952 to 1985. Mr. Mears was an active member of the Enfield Baptist Church serving as a Deacon and a Sunday School teacher. He had been active with the Masons since 1954 and the Enfield Lions Club. Mr. Mears served on the Enfield Town Board for twelve years. He is preceded in death by his parents, Leslie Daughtridge and Joseph Mears, wife of fifty years, Zenobia “Zee” Wheeless Mears, daughter, Patricia Grubb, brother, Robert L. Mears, and sister, Mary Jo Mears Pennington.
Survivors include his wife, Florence Draper Mears of Tarboro, North Carolina, daughter, Brenda Mears Craig and her husband Mike of Charlotte, North Carolina, stepdaughter, Becky Lane and her husband Jimmy of Siler City, North Carolina, stepson, Gary Mohorn and his wife Llewellyn of Emerald Isle, North Carolina, sisters; Jean Joyner of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Faye Southerland and her husband Bob of Raleigh, North Carolina, brother, Dan Mears and his wife Susan of San Diego, California, grandchildren; Kelli Craig Snyder and her husband Jeff, Anna Craig Gatlin and her husband John, Alison Dunn and her husband Don, step grandchildren; Allison Malpass and her husband Bert, Jake Lane and his wife Kristen, Kim Collins, three great-grandchildren, and two step great-grandchildren.