John (Jack) Huntley Sheer, 99, died Feb. 16, 2012, with his family by his side in Southern Pines, N.C. A memorial service was held Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 3 p.m. at the St Thomas Episcopal Church, 312 N. Steele St., Sanford, N.C., followed by a reception at the same location.
He was born Oct. 27, 1912, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Louis and Ann Sheer. His mother, Ann, passed away when he was 2, and he was raised mostly by his Aunt (Betty). Jack graduated from Erasmus High School in New York. He went to work on Wall Street as an office boy and began playing the guitar and banjo. He escaped the 1929 economic crash by moving and enrolling in the University of Alabama to study dentistry. He supported himself by playing guitar in a restaurant near campus. He returned to New York and began his music career playing various jobs in New York and Pittsburgh, Pa. He later formed a 10-piece big band and began playing at the Maryland Club Gardens outside Washington, D.C. At 30 he was drafted into the military, transferred to officerâ€™s school and ended up studying electronics at Yale University, where he graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant. He served primarily in Africa and India during World War II. After the war Jack met Josephine (Jo) Sheer. They were married three months later and remained married for 63 years. Jack then joined the military reserves, was drafted into the Korean conflict, became a captain and served in Seoul, Korea.
After the wars he went to work in Washington, D.C., and then moved to Sanford, N.C., to become sales manager for the Sanford Furniture Company. He later started Lee Crafts Furniture in Sanford and became a Board Member for the Southern Furniture Manufactures Association. Later he became a sales and marketing consultant for numerous furniture manufacturers while playing guitar at the Country Club of North Carolina.
Mr. Sheer is survived by wife, Jo Sheer; son Jeff and his wife, Linda; son Joel Sheer; granddaughter, Catherine Sheer; sister, Kitty Tepper; and half-sister, Marion Hurwitz. He was preceded in death by his brother, Albert Sheer. In lieu of flowers please make any donations to the churchâ€™s St. Thomas Memorial Fund.
Powell Funeral Home & Crematory in Southern Pines is serving the Sheer family. Online condolences may be offered at www.PinesFunerals.com