Big Plans for Spaller Family Reunion|
For many families, a reunion in Estes Park is a longed-for summer occasion. So it is with the Spaller family that will be having a big get-together the end of July to honor the memory of Virginia Spaller who died last September 3rd at the age of 96. Virginia and her husband Bill, who died in 2009, were long-time members of the Estes Park Summer Residents' Association. They spent much more than summers here, following their move to their historic chalet on High Drive in 1975. Virginia called the chalet her 'dream ' house. She had her eye on the home for several years and one night had a dream that it was for sale, and sure enough it was.
Originally from Dallas, TX they started spending summers and sometimes Christmas holidays at the
YMCA of the Rockies in 1959, before purchasing their retirement home here. Old-timers may remember the Volkswagen camper that Virginia bought to roam the Rockies in and to get around town. The Spallers were often seen at the Estes Park Golf Course and attended the Community Church of the Rockies. Virginia volunteered at the Elizabeth Guild Thrift Shop and was active in community affairs.
Virginia and Bill had 4 children and now have 8 grandchildren and at last count 10 great-grandchildren, all of whom plan to arrive in Estes Park shortly, along with spouses and several nieces and nephews from as far away as California, Florida, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington state and Washington DC. The crowd should number well over 50, staying in various motels and rental homes around town. All except the very youngest have been frequent visitors here.
Virginia Van Dyke Spaller was born in 1916 in Brooklyn N.Y. and spent her childhood mainly in the Dayton OH area. She and Bill met while both were students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. They graduated in 1938 and were married there in November 1939. Virginia was a lifelong active member of Delta Gamma sorority and served as a national vice president. She was thrilled when her granddaughter, Laura Spaller, joined Delta Gamma at the University of Denver in 2007.
The extended Spaller family will continue living here in the summers at their chalet, called 'Alpenglow' from an old sign they found in the garage. The next generations will keep alive the family traditions – hiking, camping, fishing, sending the little ones to the Y-Camp and to Cheeley when they get bigger. Grandson Will Spaller III, a recent CSU graduate and currently a waiter at the Sundeck Restaurant, hiked up Long's on his 12th birthday with his dad (also Bill Spaller) and is now an expert climber who has scaled the East Face several times. The love of the Estes Park area and all it has to offer runs deep in this family, and it all started with Virginia.
Readers who remember Virginia and want to send greetings to the family may call them at 586-5973.
Published in Estes Park Trail-Gazette on July 18, 2013