Bob Wearley, Smith Field advocate, wins county’s Vandeveer award
For his efforts to preserve Smith Field and help people dealing with drug addiction, Robert “Bob” Wearley has received the 2018 Linda & Jerry Vandeveer Impact Award from the Allen County Commissioners. Wearley is currently working with U.S. Rep. Jim Banks and Sens. Joe Donnelly and Todd Young to obtain funding for a feasibility study of plans to open a national air mail museum at Smith Field.
“Bob is a community advocate who has worked tirelessly to keep Smith Field open,” Commissioner Nelson Peters said in a statement. “He has also assisted in strengthening the Allen County Jail ministry and continues to fight for those who have succumbed to drug addiction.”
Wearley, an Allen County native, retired from the Air Force after 17 years as a lieutenant colonel. His aviation career included a nine-year stint as chief pilot for Howard Hughes and he has piloted 747s for two different airlines. Wearley also served on the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority’s board of directors and spent five years as marketing director for Fort Wayne International Airport. In addition, he serves as president of the Allen County Jail Chaplaincy and is a board member of Faith-Based Mentoring Ministries.
Wearley received a personal plaque and his name was included on a permanent plaque that is kept in the commissioners’ office. He also received a $250 check from Fire-Police City-
County Federal Credit Union, which is handling a special account established by an anonymous donor for recipients of the award. Wearley said he will donate the money to the jail chaplaincy program and the national air mail museum project.
The established the award in 2016 to recognize county residents for service to the community outside of their regular profession.