Johnnie Ray “Butch” Dear

Published 4:00 pm Friday, November 27, 2020

Johnnie Ray “Butch” Dear, 74, of Monticello, MS, went to his heavenly home on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, of cardiac arrest. To accommodate out of town family, a celebration of life will be held at a later date, at Bethel Baptist Church, in Monticello, MS.

Butch was a man of many talents. He was a wonderful son, husband, father, grandfather, Navy Vietnam Vet, band director, church worship leader, college instructor and friend. He left a wonderful legacy. He was devoted to his wife and his daughter, whom he loved with all his heart. His love for Jesus outshined them all and he is now reunited with those Christians who have gone on before him.

He was a proud alumnus of Hazlehurst High School, Copiah Lincoln Community College, Delta State University and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

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His parents, Ray and Kathrine Dear, of Hazlehurst; his infant daughter, Janice DeLynn Dear; and his brother, Edwin Dear, preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Janice Fortenberry Dear; his daughter, Kristi Green (Michael) of Liberty Lake, Washington; grandchildren, Mason Green, Bryan Delzer and Isabelle Delzer; and a host of extended family and friends.

Memorials may be made to Bethel Baptist Church, 73 Bethel Road, Monticello, MS, 39654, in his memory.

Condolences and other information are available online at