Mr. Otho Washington “O.W.” Mears


Mr. Otho Washington “O.W.” Mears, 93, of Parksley, passed away Dec. 12, 2018, at the same residence where he was born on Dec. 19, 1924.

He slept in the same bedroom for all of his life and shared it with his beloved wife, Violet P. Mears, for over 70 years. He was predeceased by his parents, Otho Stewart and Myrtle Smith Mears.

Mr. Mears’ life’s work included farming, raising chickens, auctioneering, and consulting in antiquities. He and Mrs. Mears were the proprietors of Barnyard Auction from 1973 to 2000.

As a self-proclaimed antique fanatic, Mr. Mears spent the past several years creating his own museum of agricultural history, where he spent endless hours researching, displaying, and sharing unique items acquired primarily from the Eastern Shore. This “hobby” led him to write his own book entitled “Back in Time with O.W. Mears” earlier this year.

In the 1950s, Mr. Mears. became one of the first deer hunters on the Eastern Shore, and this passion remained an important part of his life right up until last month when he and Lennie hunted, and Mr. Mears bagged his last deer.

While his activities varied from timeto-time, two times of the day were rarely missed. Meeting friends at The Club Car each morning offered him a chance to catch up on the news around town, and just as important, a chance to tell one of his thousands of stories. (Mr. Mears’ stories included an infinite number of details which took his audience from the beginning to the end of each tale, as if the listener were present during the event described.) And then came four o’clock in the afternoon when his best friend Carl Thornton picked him up to go out for coffee. On good days and bad, when Carl arrived, Mr. Mears put on his coat and was out the door.

A man of great passions, Mr. Mears held his family and friends with love, and he never allowed a moment in nature to pass without noticing and expressing gratitude. He was sometimes referred to as a historian of the Eastern Shore, not only because of his storehouse of knowledge but because of his deep abiding love of his home and all that surrounded it.

Other than his wife, he is survived by his son, Otho L. “Lennie” Mears and wife, Suzanne, of Spotsylvania, Va.; grandchildren, Lucy Beadnell and husband, Ray, of Arlington, Va., Katie Pendergrast and husband, Chris, of Charlotte, N.C., Ryan Goodrich and wife Heather of Richmond, Va., and Adam Goodrich and wife, Jenny, of Elkton, Va.; 13 grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Sydney Davis, of Salisbury, Md., and Norma Fletcher, of Quinby; brother-inlaw Brooks Pruitt and his wife, Sharon, of Onancock; and numerous nieces, nephews and many close friends.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 11 a.m., at Zion Baptist Church in Parksley, with the Rev. Andrew Matthews officiating. Interment was private, and reception followed at the church hall.

Arrangements are by Thornton Funeral Home in Parksley.

To sign the guest book online, visit:

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