#52Ancestors Week 11 March 12, 2018 Lucky


By Marilyn Sears Lindsey

Claire Lavina Sanders (b. 1927) and Leslie Ray Sears, Jr. (1928-1985) were certainly lucky to meet on a blind date in college and then hit it off so well that they were married just a few years later on Saturday, March 17, 1951 at the Upton Methodist Church in front of God and all their family and friends.  I know because they are my beloved parents.

02.1951 Harriet, Claire & Mabel at Mom's Wedding Shower with my grandmothers.jpg
February, 1951 Harriet Sears, Claire Sanders and Mabel Sanders at Claire’s Bridal Shower
03.17.1951 44 C 44 Claire & Les Wedding.jpg
March 17, 1951 Les and Claire

DEF V1P01 03.17.1951 R Leslie & Claire's Wedding Day

03.17.1951 Mabel Sanders, Harriet Sears on Leslie & Claire’s Wedding Day

Dad had started college in 1945, served in the Navy for 3 years and came back to finish college in 1950.

1947 Q&P Dad & Jack David Stanley & Friends
Circa 1947 Les, Jack David Stanley & Friends who served on the aircraft carrier the USS Boxer CV-21.

The luck of the Irish was evident during the years of their courtship as they partied with friends, went on picnics and joined Dad’s fraternity brothers and their dates at dances.

1945 Q&P Claire
Circa 1945 Claire Lavina Sanders

1948 Q&P Claire & Les

Circa 1948 on the Esplanade by the Charles River

06.1945 Q&P Leslie Ray Sears, Jr.
06.1945 Leslie Ray Sears, Jr.
04.23.1949 Q&P Scabbard and Blade Spring Dance.jpg
April 23, 1949
1949 Q&P LambdaChi
Circa 1949

DEF V1P01 1948 Les & Claire.jpg

They were lucky again to have 3 healthy children in 6 years and have the blessings of everything that a close family brings to life.

Living in Germany.jpg
Circa 1953 Leslie Ray Sears III and Leslie Ray Sears, Jr. in West Germany
Marilyn, Claire, Pam and Ray
Circa 1958 Marilyn, Claire, Pam and Ray at Springfield Armory

Dad’s career in the U.S. Army was another blessing.  We got the chance to move around the country, enjoy the splendor of this great land while getting to visit relatives as we went.  Dad was able to serve his country with more than a quarter century of service – something that was so important to him.

1952 Q&P Dad with the 91st AntiAircraft Artillery in Grafenwohr, Germany (umlaut
1952 Les and another soldier with the 91st AntiAircraft Artillery in Grafenwohr, Germany
07.18.1960 Les receives Army Commendation Medal from Gen. Mayo
7.18.1960 Les received the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service on the mechanization of military pay project from Major Gen. Mayo
Brig Gen Leslie R Sears Jr & Col. Jerry Butler at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, IND
2.27.1973 Brig Gen Leslie R Sears Jr and Col. Jerry Butler at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, IND

Les and Claire were also lucky in the lifelong friends they made.  Bob Duke was Les’ Best Man.  Les met Jerry Butler in Germany and even lived nearby when they retired to Treasure Island, FL.  Russ Chapin and Les bought a boat together – the Taipan – and worked weekends to restore it.

02.1983 Q&P Jerry Butler and Les in Treasure Island house
02.1983 Jerry Butler and Les help Angelica read the mail.
08.1973 Q&P Pam Sears & Russ Chapin
08.1973 Pam Sears and Russ Chapin at a party
03.17.1985 Bob Duke at the Treasure Island House
03.17.1985 Bob Duke at the Treasure Island House for Les & Claire’s last anniversary (34 years of marriage)

Buying and selling so many house (more than 15) was also a financial blessing as we continued to be able to afford more spacious homes for our growing family.

1968 Q&P Harriet's House - The Cedars
1951 Les and Claire lived at the Cedars on Cape Cod after they were married.
JB Springfield Armory Building#5 - building is sole example of Second Empire Sty
1958 Springfield Armory Building #5 Duplex
07.09.2009 Q&P Marilyn & Alissa at Ft. Leavenworth
1963-1964 We lived at #26 Artillery Road (a quad-plex) at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. This photo is from 2009 when Alissa and I re-visited Ft. Leavenworth.
John Marshall Drive
1967 2611 John Marshall Drive, Arlington VA
Beautification Award at Treasure Island House
1986 Claire won this Beautification Award for all the work she and Les had done on the Treasure Island house.

Since our parents had graduated from college, they knew the importance to us kids about following in their footsteps.  We all 3 graduated from college with degrees in our chosen fields that we were able to build careers from.

Dad was lucky again when he retired from the Army in 1976 and transitioned to retired life. How lucky can one family be!

Les retires from the Army
1976 Les retires from the Army



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