Claretta I. Gear, 94, passed away at her daughter’s home on the evening of Nov. 22, 2018. Born in Pueblo, Colo. on Dec. 3, 1923, she was the daughter of Findley and Inez (Livingston) Getts.
Claretta grew up in Colorado, attended local schools and graduated from high school there. While in high school, she was a member of the drum and bugle corps where she played the French horn and was a highly skilled baton twirler.
She met her husband, Murray Clifford Gear, at a roller-skating rink and they married six weeks later. She kept the home fires burning while he fought in both WWII and the Korean War where he went missing. Through her efforts with General Pershing, she brought him safely home.
For 40 years she owned and operated a dance studio in Denver, teaching hundreds of dancers, never turning anyone away for any reason. While teaching dance, Claretta was responsible for the beginning of dance conventions across the country, where some of the top instructors in the world would come together. As an instructor, she would bring her dancers to cancer wards, burn wards, and nursing homes to perform for the residents and patients.
She and Murray later moved to New Hampshire where they worked in real estate and ran a summer resort together. They moved back to Colorado where Claretta reopened her dance school and assisted her husband at the Gear Bicycle Shop. Later they moved to California where they bought and ran an avocado grove and continued working with real estate. When Claretta’s health declined, her daughter, Jane, moved with her mother to Maine so that they could be closer to Claretta’s grandson, Chris, who lived here in Jefferson.
Claretta loved to travel, was truly adventurous, learning to water and snow ski in her later years, and continued dancing as part of a senior clogging group. She was a bright light who lit up a room, always looked for the positive side of things, and touched so many lives through her love, kindness and dancing.
Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, CMS Murray Clifford Gear; son, Gary Gear; sister, Carolyn Klamm; and niece, Joyce.
She is survived by her daughter, Jane Gear; three grandchildren, Chris, Melissa and Gary; as well as three nephews, Doug, Greg and Brad.
Claretta will be laid to rest privately in Colorado at a later date.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta. Condolences, and messages for her family, may be expressed by visiting StrongHancock.com.