1931 - 2020
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Paul Christopher Spehr  
On Friday, December 20, 2019, Paul Christopher Spehr, loving father, passed away peacefully at the age of 88 at the Kline Hospice House after a brief illness. Paul was born August 2, 1931 in Arcada California to Peter and Inez Spehr. He is survived by his three children, Elizabeth Ann, Christopher Fox (Elizabeth Gettins), Katherine Helen (Michael Zabrucky); and his grandchildren Timothy, Christopher, Daniel, Samantha, Julian, Nicholas and Alexander. He is predeceased by his son Mark Stephen in 2003 (Elizabeth Lord), in 2013 by his second wife Susan E. Dalton in 2017. Paul graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in Liberal Arts. After graduation Paul married Barbara Fox and moved to Washington, DC to pursue a graduate degree. They started a family and he began working at the Library of Congress. His work at the library lead to a lifelong passion for film history and preservation. He worked at the library from 1958- 1993 where he retired as the acting Chief of the Motion Picture and Recorded Sound Division. He went on to author several books and many articles related to film history and archiving. He has received many awards and is a distinguished member of several film preservation and archival boards. Paul has been an avid traveler and has visited just about every continent in the world. He especially loves Italy and visited often. He also has a passion for his beloved Irish wolfhounds that also preceded him in death, Mina, Harry and Molly. He lived in Carroll Valley, PA and was active in the community. He enjoyed living in the peaceful community for over 20 years. There will be a Memorial Service for Paul at the Library of Congress in the Mumford room at 1 p.m. on January 31, 2020. Any donations should be made to the American Cancer Society or Frederick Health  

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Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 15, 2020.
Memorial service
01:00 PM
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Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
February 3, 2020
Sorry we missed the memorial service. But most of all, we will miss Paul. Another member of this wonderful family has been lost. We are sad.
Bob and Barbara Harris
January 18, 2020
Chris, you were lucky to have a great dad.
Michael Semyan
January 15, 2020
Paul was the eldest of 26 first cousins on his mother's side of the family (his mother was my mother's eldest sister). Most of the cousins were raised in the Midwest so we seldom saw Paul but he was greatly admired for his distinguished work at the Library of Congress and he was always a gracious host when family members visited Washington. I have particularly fond memories of his kindness and hospitality to me when I spent a year in Washington during my military service. He maintained close touch with the family and we will miss him.
Bob Butterbrodt
January 15, 2020
Paul was my first cousin and a pillar in our extended family. He was kind, thoughtful and always interested in everyone. He will be greatly missed.
Charlotte Frerichs
January 15, 2020
We miss Paul a lot. We "chatted" via FB almost every day. I still look for his responses to my postings and then realize he is no longer there. We enjoyed our many trips to see him in Carroll Valley and enjoyed many rides, seeing the sights. We had a lovely trip to Italy with him to honor Susan.
Joe and Donna Dalton
January 15, 2020
Paul became my first mentor in the Film archiving world, when I called him as a young grad student in Film to ask him about nitrate film. The subsequent term paper I wrote led my professor at Boston U to recommend me for a one year internship at Eastman Museum, starting me on a 44 year long career as a film archivist. He and Susan became dear colleagues and friends to me and my wife.
Dr. Jan-Christopher Horak
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