Otto Joseph Lear

March 11, 1933 ~ June 15, 2022 (age 89)


Otto Joseph Lear (March 11, 1933 – June 15, 2022)

Otto Lear was born in Budapest, Hungary to loving parents Ferenc and Julia Lear.  They were hardworking, blue-collar folk who raised their boys (also, Frank, nine years junior to Otto)with faith and discipline.  A side-job for Ferenc was sculpting the head of what was then the Hungarian-equivalent of the Statue of Liberty.

Otto was smart and athletic.  He excelled in engineering and crew.  Indeed, he was on the Hungarian Olympic Crew Team and was a semester short of graduating from college with an engineering degree.  But, alas, freedom from communism was part of his fate.  With his younger brother (fourteen at the time), he escaped in 1956 and they started a new life in New York City with no money and no English.  A beginning like that is what leads to a realization of the American Dream, which is what Otto epitomized.  Being humble about it is what defines character and Otto was salt-of-the earth in that sense.

In the Land of the Free, Otto had to commence college again.  First, he had to learn English and was sent to St. Michaels College in Vermont.  He bartended in Middlebury and fifty years later when he visited the bar, the owner still recalled him.  

College would have been easy but he had to work and then had to support his family.  He met the love of his life, Susan, in 1958 and six weeks later they married.  Yes, six weeks later and it lasted almost sixty-four years.  In 1961, Eddie was born and in 1963, Adrianne was born in Southern California where Otto had been transferred.  (The Lears lived in the San Gabriel Valley from 1963 to 2020.)  In the 1960’s, Otto finished his degree and then, to provide better for his family, he earned a Masters in Business Administration through night school.  Many a night, his children would see him studying through the night, shower, and then head to McDonnell Douglas where he worked as an industrial engineer.  The studying was worth it.  Ultimately, with MBA in hand, he rose through the ranks and became the business manager for the C-17 military transport plane.

Otto loved working at Boeing (which bought McDonnell Douglas).  He was instrumental in gaining employment there for brother Frank and for many years, the brothers contributed to the success of Boeing.

At age sixty, Otto retired from Boeing.  But, he was not the retiring-type and made a business of stock trading when not working with Eddie at his new law firm, Gerry & Lear.  Otto was loved by all at the office, but mostly by Eddie who valued his input in how to run a business and loved spending time with his Father.

In the meantime, Otto was a doting Grandfather to Mike (26), Katherine (24), and Kevin (24) Feehan and to Griffin (26) and Ariana (24) Lear.  He and Susan attended so many games and parties; they were part of the fabric both in Villa Park and Manhattan Beach.

In his seventies and eighties, Otto grew to love Orange County and Villa Park in particular.  When he and Susan were not travelling the world (over fifty countries!), they spent time in Villa Park at Dan and Adrianne’s and ultimately moved there in 2020.  Adrianne spoiled her parents who adored her.  Otto continued his day-trading with great success and counseled those in life matters smart enough to heed his wisdom.

A blessed life, indeed.  From Heaven, Otto is looking back on his life like a good day's work: it is done and he is satisfied with it.  If only he could still day-trade….

Our Family is encouraging donations to the Saint Sebastian Project in loving memory of Otto’s spirit:


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