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Obituary: Burton J. "B.J." Sears, Savannah, Georgia


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Savannah, Georgia

Burton J. "B.J." Sears, 65, passed away in hospice care at his home in Savannah, Georgia, on Aug. 4, 2014. He was born in Columbus, Indiana, Jan. 30, 1948, to Burton C. and Eloise Sears, and graduated from Columbus High School in 1966.

He leaves a sister, Susan Sears; brother–in-law, Greg Sundberg; and nieces, Kelsey and Sayre Sundberg.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts from DePauw and a Master of Fine Arts from USC’s prestigious film school, B.J. helped found Boulder Valley Institute in Colorado. Moving to California to pursue a professional editing career, B.J. worked on many feature films and in television. He was sound editor for the Academy Award winning "Amadeus," picture editor for films including "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," "Bojangles," "Jacob's Ladder," and "Henry and June," and worked with multiple notable directors.

In 2005, B.J. joined the faculty of the film department at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where he became a beloved professor of post-production. Professor Sears' work was key in helping SCAD achieve national ranking as a top film school in the U.S. At his home in Savannah, B.J. devoted much of his time to the creation of an ongoing series of sculptures based on the fusion of antique and modern technology. These were shown in the 2009 exhibition, "Professor Sears' Electrophonic Anachroscope and Other Steampunk Amusements."

B.J.'s love of life and sense of adventure were inspiring and contagious. He was warmly embraced by all who met him: academic peers, students (who consistently voted him favorite professor), family, and his many friends. B.J. returned to Columbus on a regular basis to visit with his many high school friends. A storyteller, artist, teacher, valued brother, uncle, and a widely loved man, B.J. Sears will be greatly missed.

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