Penwell Turner Funeral Home - Shelby, Ohio

Freelyn Wayne Gearhart

Freelyn Wayne Gearhart, age 80, of Shelby, died Wednesday afternoon, February 8, 2023 at Carington Park in Ashtabula.

Freelyn was born December 2, 1942 in Olive Hill, Carter County, KY, the son of the late Emory L. and Sally (Nichols) Gearhart. A 1961 graduate of Shelby High School, Freelyn enlisted in the United States Air Force serving during the Vietnam War from 1962-1966. Following honorable discharge, he remained a part of the Air Force reserves until 1968. Freelyn always lived a life of adventure and it was that sense of adventure that took him all over the country. Wherever he went, he always found work and self-confessed as a “jack of all trades and master of none.” Various industries of work included, but was never limited to: oil fields, law enforcement- specifically the Shelby Police Department, construction and manufacturing. His talents certainly included being incredibly handy and capable of fixing nearly anything.

Freelyn was married to Bertie (Byrd) Gearhart and was the proud father of 4 children: Dorinda Wagner of Shelby, F. Wayne (Jodi) Gearhart of Lancaster, PA, Brenda Gearhart, and Jeff (Michelle) Gearhart both of Loveland. In addition, he was an especially proud dad to the most loyal dog and confident protector, Blue. Freelyn connected strongly with his grandchildren- positives relationships that were cherished by not only him but his grandchildren just the same: Shane (Nicole) Gearhart, Jordan Gearhart, Garrett (Ellie) Bradley, Regan Gearhart, Reilly Gearhart, Rachel Gearhart, Jacob Gearhart, Cooper Gearhart, Colton Gearhart, and Aleah Gearhart; and great grandchildren: Morgen, Luke, Clint, Hunter, and Tanner. He is also survived by a brother: Woody (Bev) Gearhart; sisters: Loretta (Dave) Wilson, Aretta Wiggins, Donna (Gary) Ramsey, and Marcia Kegley; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. In addition to his parents, Freelyn was preceded in death by an infant sister: Shelva Jean; a niece: Kelly Ann Wilson-Hockenberry; and a nephew: Benjamin Gearhart.

Per Freelyn’s wishes, calling hours and funeral services will not be observed. Care for Freelyn and his family is being provided by the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby. Condolences for the family may be left on his obituary on the funeral home’s website,, or their Facebook Page,

Memories & Condolence

  1. Denise Lewis says:

    So sorry for your loss. Uncle Freelyn was a great man. Hugs to all of you! ❤️

  2. Jari Amburgey says:

    To the family…I am sorry for your loss. We loved Freelyn. He always sat with us when we were at Phil’s Place. Good guy…will be missed by many. Your guys will be in my thoughts and prayers

  3. The Normans says:

    We were very sorry to hear of your Dad and Grandfather’s passing. He sounded like a wonderful man who led a full and honorable life. Peace and fond memories be with all of you.
    Regards, The Normans
    Lititz, PA

  4. Chet & Kate Bell says:

    Our condolences to Wayne, Jodi, Regan Reilly, Rachel and the entire Gearhart family.

  5. Pauline & Sam Patton Jr says:

    So sorry for the loss
    of Freelyn RIP…He will be
    missed by many

  6. Jan Burton says:

    Dear Dorinda and Family, so sorry for the loss of your Dad. May God put his loving arms around you and fill you with peace. May loving memories comfort you today and always. God Bless You. Love, Jan

  7. Ron Hunt says:

    Please accept my condolences over the loss of your grandfather. I know how he meant to you

  8. Fred Sheridan says:

    I’m am sorry for your loss Bertie and family. Freelyn was a great mentor to me back in the days of his service for the SPD and the Shell service station. He and Bertie gave me my first real job in High School when my Dad died in 1977. He’ll always have a special place in my heart. RIP Freelyn.

  9. Brian Honbd says:

    Prayers and condolences to the family…. sorry for you loss… We go back my dad Capt Hollie Kegley and him patrolled Shelby together… I went to school with his daughter… Im sure dad greeted him in Heaven….

  10. Gene & Kathy Highfield says:

    My deepest sympathy for my longtime friends.

  11. Gary Smith says:

    Sympathies and condolences to you, Lt Shane and your entire family. I’m certain your grandfather was very proud of your achievements. May he rest in peace, watching over you from above.

  12. Brigette Harrison says:

    To the Gearhart family,
    My condolences and prayers are with you.
    Hold onto your precious memories.
    Brigette Harrison

  13. Barbara Nichols Harvey says:

    So sorry for your loss, I have memories of him. He was a wonderful First Cousin , I will always love him and miss him. Love you Freelyn, Praying for the family.

  14. Little Tim Dull says:

    Sorry to here about Freelyn, many great memories at the shell gas station and on gamble street, can’t count the times he would pull up shaking his head to save Woody and I with the wrecker, Hope he’s taking a ride today on that 900. RIP. Soldier

  15. Missy and Terry Wilson says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. Freelyn was always so good to us and the boys and he will not be forgotten.

  16. Paula M. Harris says:

    My deepest condolence to Shane and all the family. So sorry for your loss.

  17. Donna Dean Payne says:

    Brenda and Family,

    Your father was a tremendous comfort to me when my own father passed in 2000. I saw him enter the funeral home (hat in hand) and we locked eyes. We both made a bee-line for each other, and met with a hard embrace. I was so happy to see him. I can still feel his grip. Your fathers attendance meant the most to me and made the whole ordeal bearable.

    Years later, we crossed paths at Mid-Ohio Heart. Once again he surrounded me with a powerful hug. I’m so glad to have known him.

    Godspeed Freelyn – You and Dad can enjoy tea & lemonade on the swing again.

  18. darrelll L baker says:

    Sorry to hear Freelyn passed away. We were neighbors back in the late 50’s.Would ride to school together thanks to Buddy Mott. Rest in peace my freind. We’ll meet again. Darrell Baker

  19. Jack Tackett says:

    Wayne and Bertie, You are in my thougths and prayers. It is never easy at a time like this. Wayne, I will always have special memories of you in little league. You were a pleasure to coach.

  20. Michael Haines says:

    My deepest condolences. I only met him once. But I know his grandson very well. I’m sure he was a great protector. Thank you for your years of service. Rest well.

  21. Bill and Margie Martin says:

    Brenda, Jeff, Shane and all, our sincere sympathy on Freelyn’s passing! Prayers for comfort for the family! We loved him, and will cherish our many memories of him! RIP, my friend!

  22. Susi Lusk says:

    I’m sorry to hear this. He was a great guy. Sincere heart and soul. You will be missed by many, and thought of often. Thanks for being a good friend.

  23. Bob burky says:

    The family of Freelyn
    Your in my thoughts and prayers I your time of loss of a wonderful man he will be missed

  24. Mic Kempf says:

    I have many, many fond memories of Freelyn. To say that he was a larger than life character would be an understatement. I will treasure those memories and keep him in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for everything and until we meet again.

  25. Joe Strassell says:

    From the Strassell and Hi-Point Firearms family, Our deepest condolences to your family. Freelyn was part of the history here at Hi-Point and will not soon be forgotten. Though he worked with the company before my time, he and Blue would still come visit often and I enjoyed many conversations with him in my office. He will be missed.

  26. Tim Moore says:

    My condolences to Freelyn’s family. He and I use to hang out together back in the late sixties and early seventies. Had many great times together. I ran off and joined the Navy for 27 years and lost contact. He was a good man and a great friend. Sorry to hear of his passing.

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