John Efford Grear, III

john grear, iii

November 26, 1944 ~ February 17, 2019

Resided in: Asheville, North Carolina

John Efford Grear, III, 74, of Asheville, passed away Sunday, February 17, 2019. A native of Memphis, TN, he was a son of the late Edith Mackassey and John Efford Grear, Jr. He was also preceded in death by an infant daughter, Elizabeth Ann Grear and one brother, George M. Grear. John is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Patricia Wallace Grear; one son, Christopher Wallace Grear (Meggan); one daughter, Katherine Laurel Grear (Mike Adams); four grandchildren, Samuel Wallace Grear, Alexander Christopher Grear, Lillian Rose Grear and Garnet Lovey Adams-Grear; one sister, Nancy Mitchell (Jim); one sister-in-law, Barbara Wallace Boatner, as well as several nieces and nephews. John worked his way through Rhodes College and the University of Memphis playing guitar in a garage band, The Counts, from 1961 through 1965. Memphis radio stations still have requests to play their recording of "Stormy Weather". He was called to serve and enlisted in the Army in 1969, and was honorably discharged when his Mother passed away, leaving him the head of his family. He and his wife Patty were married in 1970 on February 28th at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Memphis, surrounded by family and friends of many years. In 1973 during a long-waited honeymoon, they found the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina to be a wonderful place to raise a family and made it their home. John began his career in finance in 1981 with JC Bradford & Company, received the Certified Financial Planning designation in 1986, a Master of Science from the College of Financial Planning in 1994, and his Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation in 2003 from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business. John served many clients over three generations and was known by all for his compassion and integrity. He will be greatly missed by his financial planning family, but especially by his business partners of over 15 years, Denise Godley and Kale Olson. John’s community involvement included 10 years as a board member for Memory Care in Asheville, and a life-long member of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, but his greatest achievements came through the Hendersonville Kiwanis Club. John was awarded the prestigious Legion of Honor Award for 35 years of faithful service in the Club. He was Chairman of the Kiwanis Shoes & Socks Program since 1999, providing new shoes and socks for local homeless or needy school children. He was awarded the Human and Spiritual Values Award in 2011, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a member of the club. He always served as a Salvation Army bell-ringer at Christmas time, and at the annual pancake breakfast fundraiser. John loved the mountains and hiked almost every imaginable trail from the Balsams to Grandfather Mtn. Besides spending time in nature his hobbies were feeding & watching birds and playing his classical guitar. His children have inherited his many qualities and blessed him with his greatest blessings as "Pop Pop" to four loving grandchildren. He was a tremendously kind, loyal and loving father, husband and community member and will be greatly missed. A Memorial Mass will be Celebrated at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at the Basilica Of St. Lawrence, DM and will be officiated by Reverend David McCanless. The family will host a reception following the Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Kiwanis Club Foundation Memo: Shoes & Socks Program, PO Box 2138, Hendersonville, NC 28793 Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Patty and Family, I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of your precious husband and father. I have wonderful memories of all of us at Central High School,and will always remember the big smile on John’s face. Please accept my heartfelt condolences and know that I am sending hugs and all of my love to you. May your beautiful memories give you strength during this difficult time.All of my love
    Sandra Sacks Mislow

  2. Patty & Family – I’m still in shock. John was a wonderful kind man and I’m blessed to have known him. I’m praying for you all that God will give you the strength you need to get through this difficult time.

    Rhonda Curry

  3. Dear Patty and Family, Our hearts are heavy and sad today to learn of John’s passing. He was such a kind and thoughtful gentleman. He touched so many lives in our Kiwanis Club and will be greatly missed. He worked so hard with the Socks and Shoes Program and always had a kind smile to everyone. Please know you are all in our prayers.

  4. Dear Patty and Family, just learned about Johnny and spoke with Nancy a bit. So sorry, so sorry. We all loved Johnny Grear! We’ll be there next week.

  5. To John’s family,
    Maggie and I engaged John to care for our retirement funds. He did that well. However, it turns out that his most important gift to us was that he opened our hearts just through the gentleness of his soul. We feel the loss.

  6. It’s sorta the end of a great group as now all the ‘ singers’? from the Counts are now gone. Danny, then Steve,now John. Old friend from high school then Southwestern(Rhodes) ,fondly remembered and thought of often.Seen not too terribly long ago. Gone too quickly.RIP Grear! I’ll bet the Harmonies are great in Heaven these days as you’re back w/ most of your old group. Hugs to all yours, Ann Clark ‘ Click ‘ Quinlen Harris

  7. To John’s Family,
    I am shocked and saddened by John’s death. He guided and advised me through 27 years of puzzling, financial mazes, went above and beyond expectations and became a valued, trusted friend. For months last year he’d come over every week to get me through the last hurdle and ensure security for the remaining years. Gentle, kind, patient and understanding he’d always spend the last few minutes chatting about common interests. He’s irreplaceable and i will miss him dearly. My hear goes out to you at this very sad time.

  8. Dear Patty & family,
    I am so sorry to hear about John.
    John was a great guy & yall
    were a beautiful couple.
    what a devastating three months
    this has been for you & so
    many others. Joanie & I are praying
    for you and your family through
    this difficult time
    love you,
    Rickey Phelan

  9. John was a trusted advisor to my parents who thought so highly of this gentle man and with great affection. After their deaths, I continued the family tradition and always enjoyed hearing about the old days from someone who knew them well. To Kale and Denise, and everyone who loved him, I offer my condolences.

  10. John was a joy to be around both as a young man and as an adult.
    He was quick to smile and always had a kind word for friends and family.
    He will be missed by all who knew him.
    David Van Hoozer

  11. I am sending my love, thoughts, and prayers to all of the family for your great loss. John was such a kind and gentle man and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
    Rest in peace, dear friend.

  12. Patty, I am so sorry about John. You two have been together forever. I know how heartbreaking this must be. He was a gentleman and a gentle person. My heart goes out to you at this sad,sad time. My love goes out to you and your children.

  13. Dear Grear family, While I did not know John directly, I do feel like I know him indirectly through Chris, who is both a friend and business associate. In dealing with Chris I can sense the compassion, drive and love of family that I am sure his parents instilled in him. I grieve for all of you during this difficult time, yet am comforted by the fact that you have such a special man to pay tribute to. God bless and know you remain in my prayers.

  14. Dear Patty,
    I am so very sorry to learn about John’s passing. Please know that you and all your family are in my fondest prayers. I pray for the comfort and peace that God alone can give. I am thinking of you with loving memories.

  15. To Patty and all of the family, it is hard to know if any words may offer solace when you lose someone as special as John. The peaceful kind way he always comported himself not just to those close but to all he touched is a wonderful legacy. He knew he was blessed to be surrounded by a loving family, friends and colleagues. He will be so missed but I am sure he will be with you watching over you always. May God hold you in the palm of his hand offering comfort and peace when you need it.

  16. Dear Patty, Chris, Katie and all of your family, I am so sorry for the loss of John. He will be missed terribly by all of us who knew and loved him. My prayers and love are with all of you.

  17. Dear Patty
    I am so sorry to learn of John’s passing.He sounds like a wonderful man
    and I know he will be missed by you and your children and all your grandchildren. My love and prayers
    go out to you and your family at this sad time.

  18. Like everyone else who knew and loved John, I was stunned and saddened at his death. I knew John from Kiwanis and his participation in the Hendersonville club.

    The life that attracted all of us to this kind and gentle man, I should hope someone, some day, could attribute to all of us too. Sadly, many of us are often content only to bump along through life, day by day. John was obviously the exception. I hope only that his death will remind us ‘? and his life inspire us ‘? to serve others each day to the fullest. This is how I will remember John.

    For us in the Hendersonville Kiwanis Club, the name John Grear is synonymous with service ‘? in particular, with managing the club program to distribute shoes and socks to needy local youngsters, a mission he had undertaken quietly for the past 18 years. John lived in Asheville, yet his heart for Kiwanis was at home in Hendersonville. I count it my good fortune that I too could share a brief time on this earth with John Grear.

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