Gene Spears, 93, a 33-year resident of Crestview, went peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, March 14, 2013, with loving family by his side.
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Formerly of Pensacola and Pompano Beach, Gene was born and raised in Scottsville, Ky. He was the eldest child of Roy W. and McCabe "Kay" Hargett Spears. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 71 years, Marjorie Crowdus Spears, and by his brothers: Odie Spears (Mary Helen) and Roy Spears Jr. (Ingrid) and his sister, Lucille Delgado (Del). He is survived by his sisters: Thelma Simmons (Jimmy) of Murrells Inlet, S.C., and Barbara Smith of Scottsville, Ky., and by his sister-in-law, Ingrid, who has moved back to Sweden.
Gene is also survived by his sons: Bill Spears (Gayle) of Crestview and Terry Spears (Patty) of Molino. He was Grandaddy to seven grandchildren: Eric Spears (Valerie) of Crestview; Tim Spears (Kellie) of Destin; Amy Reed (Chuck) of Allentown, Pa.; John Spears (Angela) of Alpharetta, Ga.; Janette Howard (Jason) of Crestview; Josh Spears of Molino; and Rebecca Spears-Sliwinski (Tony) of Egg Harbor Township, N.J. He was "Pops" to 18 great-grandchildren. Numerous beloved nieces and nephews also survive him.
Gene grew up a country boy, enjoying fishing and hunting small game. He loved helping his grandpas in their blacksmith shops. He always enjoyed harvesting things, such as blueberries, from the woods. He joined the Marine Corps and served honorably during World War II in the South Pacific in the First Reconnaissance Company of the First Marine Division, becoming a sergeant. His farming background served him well and he received special recognition for his excellent marksmanship.
Throughout his life, Gene enjoyed his flowers, photography, golf and watching baseball and golf with Marge. They also enjoyed traveling and had many happy times on the road and on several special cruises.
Marge had been a hospital volunteer for most of her adult life, and in later years, he joined her and enjoyed serving his friends and neighbors.
Gene dearly loved and was loved by his family, and when all those children and grandchildren were growing up, he was the one popping up with his camera to record many of their activities and special milestones.
Gene was a car salesperson for most of his life, and always enjoyed his interactions with people and serving people in this way. He also enjoyed several other jobs after his first retirement, such as working at a gun shop; and he didn't completely stop working until he was into his 90s.
Gene became a Christian as an adult and began to seriously study the Bible. He loved teaching, and especially treasured his understanding of "rightly dividing the Word of God."
It is a great comfort to his family to know that our beloved Dad/Grandaddy/Pops/Gene is with the Lord and awaiting that glorious day when all Christians will meet the Lord in the air and receive our glorified bodies - and "so shall we ever be with the Lord."
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Published in The Crestview News Bulletin on Apr. 1, 2013