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Former port commissioner Gene Sears dies

Former Port of South Whidbey Commissioner Gene Sears died Friday at his home on South Whidbey.

Sears, who represented Freeland as a port commissioner for 12 years, was 79.

A former executive for the Bon Marche clothing chain, Sears moved to Whidbey Island with his wife, Bonnie, after he retired.

He served two terms as an elected port commissioner, and was a part of the group that founded the Uniquely Whidbey Trade Fair and helped purchase the property in Clinton for ferry parking, according to family friend Tom Baenen.

Sears was beaten in his bid for a third term by Geoff Tapert in November 2005.

Private family services are planned.

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