Ward Gustavus Spear
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Ward Gustavus Spear, 86, of Richland, WA passed away peacefully March 28, 2014 at Richland Rehabilitation Center with his daughter by his side. He was born November 22, 1927 in Pipestone, MN to Ward and Ann (George) Spear and was raised in Sioux Falls, SD. He graduated with top honors from Washington High School in 1944. He served in the U.S. Navy for two years as an aviation electronic technician's mate and was honorably discharged in January 1948.
While pursuing his electrical engineering degree at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, SD, Ward met and fell in love with Louise Borresen Sullivan. They married on November 25, 1948. After son Steve was born in 1951, they relocated to Schenectady, NY where Ward worked for GE. In 1952, the family moved out West to Richland, WA where Ward continued his work as an electrical engineer for GE Hanford. Daughter Meegan was born in 1953 shortly after their arrival. Ward and Louise raised their family and stayed in Richland for the next 61 years.
Ward held electrical engineering degrees from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (BSEE) and from the University of Idaho (MSEE) and also took graduate courses in Nuclear Engineering, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering at the Joint Center for Graduate Study in Richland. He was a member of many professional societies and committees including Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Nuclear Society, Health Physics Society, Instrument Society of America, and was also an affiliate of IEEE Groups on Nuclear Science, Engineering Management and Instrumentation and Measurement. He had numerous technical papers published over the years and was awarded two U.S. patents for nuclear instrumentation.
Ward retired as an engineering manager in 1989 after a long career with GE Hanford, Pacific Northwest Laboratory (Battelle Memorial Institute) and Westinghouse Hanford (FFTF).
He was a Mason Life Member of Masonic Lodge, No. 25, A.F. and A.M., in Rapid City, SD. He was also a member of the Tri-Cities, WA Elks Lodge, No. 2755. Ward was well-read and possessed extensive knowledge of many subjects and enjoyed discussing these and current events, especially politics, with family and friends, often with his unique and distinctive brand of humor.
Ward was preceded in death by his father in 1947, his mother in 1993, and by his wife, Louise, in 2005. He is survived by his son, W. Steven Spear (Laurie Hampton) of Federal Way, WA and daughter Meegan Spear of West Richland, WA. Ward leaves special and dear friends John and Estelle Forsberg, John and Vi Raymond, and Norm and Jean Wing, along with many other longtime good friends. He also leaves behind his much loved cats which provided him with lots of companionship after Louise passed away.
At Ward's request, there will be no service. A private family inurnment will take place at a later date. Donations may be made to the Benton-Franklin Humane Society or Nature Conservancy. Online messages of condolence may be left at www.einansfuneralhome.com
Einan's Funeral Home, Inc.
915 By-Pass Highway Richland, WA 99352
Published in The Argus Leader on Apr. 27, 2014