Fredric G. Nearing


N. BARRINGTON, Ill. — Fredric G. Nearing, 100, of North Barrington, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2019, in Urbana, Ill. 

A visitation at 10 a.m. and memorial service at 11 a.m. will be held at the Barrington United Methodist Church (98 Algonquin Road) on Saturday, May 11, 2019, followed by a light lunch.

Fred was born on February 25, 1919 in Kenney, Ill., the son of Frank R. and Vesta Nearing. Fred was married in 1944 in Greenwich, Conn. to Elizabeth (Betty), who preceded him in death in 2006. Fred is survived by their four children, Patricia (Ronald) Brown of Middletown, Ohio; Jeanine Nearing of Hopewell Junction, N.Y.; Paul Nearing of Wood Dale, Ill.; and Holly (Barb) Nearing of Champaign, and grandchildren Laura and Samuel Nearing of Wood Dale, Ill. He is also survived by nephew David of Lake Zurich, Ill, and nieces Edwina and Rita of Chico, Calif.

Fred was preceded in death by his parents, brother Myron and sister Juanita Smith.

Fred graduated from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) in 1943 with a degree in Electrical

Engineering. After graduating, he moved to New York City to work in the war effort, and in 1947 Fred became a field engineer with Crossley and Associates. After that, Fred began working for Hewlett-Packard in electronic instrument marketing. He was Hewlett-Packard’s midwest regional sales manager for many years before he formed a new marketing company, Electronic Instrument Associates, with two colleagues. In his full life, Fred earned his private pilot’s license, and was an avid golfer, some say duffer, at Biltmore Country Club. Fred finally retired in 1989 to enjoy life in North Barrington in the family home he built on Honey Lake.

Fred cherished his college education and connection to the University of Illinois. He served on the Electrical Engineering Alumni board for many years and was a member of the President’s Council. Fred received the ECE Marcia Peterman Award in 1992, and the Lou Liay Spirit Award in 2012 at the age of 93.

Fred and his wife, Betty, endowed the Nearing Professorship in ECE 1997, and Fred endowed the Nearing Family Classroom in the ECE building that opened in 2014.

Fred was able to celebrate his 100th birthday with family in February. Fred never met a stranger, and always had a joke or story at the ready.

Donations in memory of Fred Nearing may be made to the University of Illinois Foundation for the ECE

Alumni Scholarship Fund, and mailed to the Foundation at 1305 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801.