Gresham Bearss

Gresham “Bud” Bearss, 79, of Berne unexpectedly went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, August 5, 2017. He was born on August 16, 1937 to George and Merceda (Boyd) Bearss in Mexico. He was married on August 17, 1958 to Ruby Rhodes.

He graduated from Rochester High School and earned his bachelor’s in education from Manchester College and his master’s in education from Purdue University. His 40-year career included classroom teaching at Caston, Mentone, and South Adams high schools. He served as a principal in the Winamac, Clay City, Southmont, and South Adams school systems and retired as assistant superintendent of South Adams Schools.

He was a member of First Missionary Church and taught the Crusaders Sunday School class for many years and mentored several generations of students and younger adults. He was well-known as a diehard sports fan—rooting unfailingly for the Chicago Cubs and Bears, the Purdue Boilermakers, and the South Adams Starfires. He also coached basketball and track early on in his teaching career. He enjoyed studying and teaching the Bible, listening to online sermons, traveling, fishing, playing card games, reading, eating out with friends and family, and keeping in touch with all the people he cared about via social media.

He is survived by three daughters, Laura (Jim) Umpleby of Elkhart; and Kris Bearss; and Barbara Bearss, both of Nashville, Tennessee; sister, Janis (Juan) Garcia of Pueblo, Mexico; brother, Wendell Bearss of Rochester; and five grandchildren, Tim, Tyler, Kyrsten, and Karis Umpleby; and Malachi Reid.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; and sister, Frances (Donald) Smith.

Visitation will be from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8 and one hour prior to the 10:30 a.m. funeral service on Wednesday, August 9 at First Missionary Church in Berne. Officiating will be Kris McPherson. Burial will be at MRE Cemetery in Berne.

Memorials may be made to Big JAWS Youth for Christ, Hope Center in Fort Wayne or The Hope Clinic in Berne.

Arrangements provided by Yager-Kirchhofer Funeral Home in Berne. Sign the guest book online at