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Dr. Richard O. Spertzel


1933 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Dr. Richard O. Spertzel Obituary
Dr. Richard O. Spertzel, of Frederick, Md, died on March 24, 2016. Born on February 9, 1933, in Gardners, PA, son of George A. and Blanche Davis Spertzel.

The first of his family to attend college, he won academic scholarships to the University of Pennsylvania, where he would go on to get his postgraduate doctorate degree in veterinary medicine. After a short time in private practice, he entered military service in 1959, retiring in 1987, after a distinguished career in which he earned numerous awards, as a Colonel in the United States Army Veterinary Corps. While in the Army, he earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

After his military career, Dr. Spertzel served as the senior biological weapons inspector for UNSCOM, leading 41 teams to Iraq searching for and dismantling bio-weapons of mass destruction in the mid '90s, and then as an adjunct professor through Louisiana State University, teaching bio-terrorism preparedness for first responders on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11. He was considered one of the nation's foremost authorities on anthrax.

Dr. Spertzel enjoyed traveling with Gail, his wife of 54 years, eventually visiting over 100 countries and territories, including visits to all seven continents.

Dr. Spertzel is survived by his wife, Gail Kloeblen Spertzel; his daughters, Karyn Spertzel, New Market, MD, and Jody Spertzel Arneson, Ellicott City, MD; grandsons, Eli and Zak Vilschick; and son-in-law, Edward Arneson. He is also survived by sisters, Romaine Spertzel Trimmer and Jean Spertzel Weigle (Ronald); brother, Luther Spertzel, (Shirley); and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and by sister, Catherine, and brothers Ira, Clair, Lloyd and Robert.

Inurnment will be private at Arlington Military Cemetery.
Published Online in The Frederick News-Post on Mar. 27, 2016
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