Lewis Sears


Funeral services and Mass of Christian Burial for Dr. Lewis N. Sears, Sr. 90, Bettendorf, a longtime resident of both Moline and Springfield, Illinois, will be 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 4097 18th St., Bettendorf.  

The family will greet friends following the services in the Gathering Space at church.  In keeping with Dr. Sears’ wishes, cremation rites will be accorded.   Halligan McCabe DeVries is assisting the family with arrangements. Dr. Sears passed away Friday January 28, 2011, at Trinity, Bettendorf.

Lewis Neasham Sears was born November 18, 1920 in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Isaac Weir Sears Sr. and Margaret (Neasham) Sears.  After attending Davenport public schools, he went on to attend St. Ambrose and Augustana colleges.  He graduated from Northwestern Medical School in 1945.  Dr. Sears served his country in the United States Army as a battalion surgeon in the Korean War.  Upon returning, he did his residency in Internal Medicine at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.  He practiced Internal Medicine in Moline for thirty-six years, before retiring to Springfield in September of 1985.

During his accomplished career, Dr. Sears was a member of the American Medical Association, Rock Island Medical Association and numerous other professional organizations.  He was president of the medical staff at both Lutheran and Moline Public hospitals.  For many years, Dr. Sears was on the Board of Directors of the Rock Island County Tuberculosis Sanitarium.  He was also the lead investigator for the State of Illinois in the development of the drug, L-Dopa, which remains the most effective treatment for Parkinson’s Disease.  Ironically, late in his life, Dr. Sears was afflicted with the disease, which ultimately took his life.


Dr. Sears was united in marriage to Mary Elizabeth Railsback on March 27, 1943 at the First Congregational Church, Moline.  She preceded him in death April 20, 1996.  They had four children; Lewis Neasham (Sharon) Sears Jr., Mendham, N.J., Judith Sears (David) Gelaude, Savannah, Ga., Thomas Railsback Sears, Moline, and Nancy Sears (Stephen) Mayer, Springfield, Il.; eleven grandchildren, fourteen great grandchildren; a brother and sister in law, I. Weir (Patricia) Sears Jr., Davenport, and a brother-in-law, Thomas Fisher Railsback, Palm Desert, Ca.,  all of whom survive Dr. Sears.

Dr. Sears was a loving and devoted father who worked endlessly to instill the values of hard work, integrity, love of family and compassion for others.  He spent countless hours working with his children, doing homework, coaching swimming and working in the yard.  He will always be remembered by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for his love of singing and storytelling, always acting out the characters with vivid animation.  

Dr. Sears later married Rita M. Mills on June 11, 1997 at Sacred Heart Church, Moline. She also survives him along with his three step-children;  Mary (Clark) Anderson, Golden, Co., Stephen Mills, Gunnison, Co.,  David (Gretchen) Mills, Moline and eight step- grandchildren from this marriage.   

Dr. Sears was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Elizabeth “Betty” Carver in 2002.      In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Dr. Sears’ obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.

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