Joseph K. "Gus" FrearJuly 10, 1937 ~ September 1, 2017 (age 80)
Joseph K. “Gus” Frear, 80, of Bedford, died on Friday, September 1, 2017 at Pennknoll Village Nursing Home, after attending the Labor Day 55 race at the Bedford Speedway with Gerald Chamberlain and other friends. The long-time racing team of Frear and Chamberlain watched as the Chamberlain tribute No. 76 car driven by Andy Haus won the race. Gus died later that night.
He was born on July 10, 1937, in Bedford, a son of the late Hugo K. and Virginia (Rymer) Frear. He is survived by a brother, Edward K. “Ned” Frear, married to the former Mary Lee Newcombe, of Bedford, a sister, Mary Virginia wife of Robert Sweet, of Ellsworth, Maine, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a sister, Sarah L. “Sally” Frear.
Gus was a veteran of the U.S. Army and earned a degree in drafting design technology at Penn State University’s Altoona campus in 1959.
Gus was known in the East Coast racing community as the innovative mechanic, the “Bedford Brain,” who engineered the cars that Gerald drove to more than 600 victories at Bedford, Reading, Flemington, N.J., Winchester, Va., Orange County, N.Y., and other tracks. He was inducted into the Bedford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. After the team retired from racing, Gus owned and operated a tool-and-dye machine shop in Bedford, engineering multiple patented items for Kennametal, Creative Pultrusions, and other industrial manufacturers.
A memorial service celebrating Gus’s life and racing career will be held on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., in the Chapel, at the Timothy A. Berkebile Funeral Home, in Bedford, with Jim Miller leading. Friends will be received at the funeral home the hour before the service on Wednesday, starting at 10:00 a.m. Photos and items from Gus’s career will be on display. Friends are encouraged to bring their 76 car and 31 car racing memories and memorabilia to share. Burial will be private and held at the convenience of the family.
The family requests that donations be made in Gus’s name to help establish the Museum of Speed at the Bedford Fairgrounds, 261 Shangri Lane, Bedford, PA 15522.
Our online guest book is available at www.berkebilefuneralhome.com.