John Arthur Spears Jr.
1949 - 2014
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John Arthur Spears Jr., Colonel US Army (Retired) beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother passed away peacefully on July 22, 2014 in his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado after a 2 month battle with Leukemia. John was born in Maryville, Tennessee, January 10, 1949 to the late John Arthur Spears and Ruth Ryan Nance.

John graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1971, and subsequently earned a Masters in Business Administration from Yale University, as well as a National Security Fellowship from Harvard University. John honorably served his country thru 26 years of military service as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army. John retired from the Army in 1997 at the rank of Colonel, and held numerous leadership positions including Director, Center for Army Leadership and Brigade Commander in the 2nd Armored Division where he commanded a tank brigade with over 3,000 soldiers and 500 combat vehicles.

Upon retiring from the Army, John translated his military experience to lead a very successful career in military, government, and corporate consulting by facilitating leadership, strategic planning, and accountability workshops world-wide. John was diagnosed with leukemia in May during one of his bi-annual trips to China, where for over 12 years, he taught an MBA leadership class to students at Fudan University in Shanghai, Southwest University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, Tsing Hua University in Beijing. John also hosted hundreds of Chinese student visits to the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.

John made a profound impact on thousands of lives throughout his personal and professional life. Upon hearing the news of John's condition, the Dean of SWUFE in Chengdu was quoted as saying "John was the best MBA professor at SWUFE, and he is our hero. For more than 12 years he has taught our students and thousands of executives and CEO's have benefitted from his great lectures on leadership."

When John wasn't consulting or teaching, he enjoyed frequent trips to his vacation home in Mexico, and spending quality time with friends and family. John's keen sense of humor will be missed; he was always the life of the party, and never met a stranger.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory, devoted wife of over 40 years, Susan Kaye Eivins Spears, loving children, Shane (Suzanne) Spears of Cincinnati, OH; and Ryan Spears of Lake Mary, FL; adoring granddaughters, Lola Bradley Spears and Lucy Ruth Spears; and siblings Barbara, Bill, Mary Byrd, Libby, Michelle, and April; as well as a host of wonderful cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

The Burial Office will be read at St. George's Anglican Church on Friday, July 25th at 10:00am. Inurnment will be held at a later date to be determined at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.



To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Gazette on Jul. 24, 2014.
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Memories & Condolences
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59 entries
August 13, 2014
I am so sad that John died, a few years ago he took me to Colombia and Las Vegas. We had such a great time. He was so generous, he really helped me out when I had no one to turn to. I'll miss the adventures the laughs and the cigars.
Marissa Sifuentes
August 12, 2014
I am deeply saddened by this news. During our times together in IMPAC we toured around together for a while delivering leadership seminars to executive teams. He was one of the most inspirational and motivating people I have ever come across. Seldom was the phrase "a scholar and a gentleman" more appropriate. You will be sorely missed John. My heartfelt condolences to Sue and the family.
Patrick Maes
August 12, 2014
So very sorry to hear such sad news. It was an honour to work with John. A very kind and good humoured man. My condolences to you and your family.
Gwen Daniels
August 9, 2014
My deepest condolences to Sue and the Spears Family. May John rests in peace now.

A great memory of knowing John which tells great stories to motivate people in his leadership class. Such a humble character and modest West Point guy in my view.
He always starts by saying " my good friend tells me....". I do not know how many good friends he has, but this guest book definitely says something !.
Good bye John...until we meet again.

From a good friend,
Rudy Suarly, Jakarta - Indonesia
August 8, 2014
I send my sincere condolences to Sue, the family and friends. I remember John as a very refined, sensitive, intelligent man, with a lot of humor. May you rest in peace, John and I thank you for the insights you brought and the fine air that you had around you.
Lea Schmidt
August 8, 2014
John Spears was a good, good man and will be dearly missed. I had the pleasure of learning from him in my time with IMPAC, and his words influence my work and life to this day. John's bright spirit and humor shone through every interaction. Though we had not kept in close touch over the years, there was something comforting about knowing he was out there in the world, helping people learn to lead authentically and powerfully. My deepest sympathies go out to Sue and the fine young men that John was so proud to call his sons.
Julie (Chiapelone) Rey
August 8, 2014
John (left) with another very happy client
John & I left our native Armies in the same year & both landed in our second careers at the same time. We quickly found a cameredarie that grew & was sustained over many years, even down to a reunion in Singapore when our schedules allowed. One of life's shapers, warm, caring & tireless in the cause of clients & co-workers alike. I'm terrifically saddened to only have learned today & will toast John tonight at 2100, the toast being "Absent Friends". To Sue & the family, my heartfelt commiserations this day. I cannot imagine. Know that "That Brit" was privilaged to have been able to share some of your journey.
Rest easy, Sir. Your duty's done. Dave
Dave Blackwell
August 8, 2014
unique person has left. rest in peace. we will remember!
August 8, 2014
My sincerest condolences to the Spears family. I had learned a lot from John when I attended one of his leadership training when I was with IMPAC.
Allan Go
August 8, 2014
John was a respected and liked colleague in Impac. My condolences to the family. I am sure many of our colleagues will join the condolences and wishes. May John rest in peace...
August 7, 2014
John was a student of mine during his time at Yale. Our shared interest in the study of leadership led to a continued relationship, which I will greatly miss. I always looked forward to those occasions when our paths crossed. John was incredibly likeable, and his wry and wonderful sense of humour always kept me smiling. Both Julia and I will sincerely miss John. Our thoughts and our sympathies are with you, Sue, and with your family.
Victor Vroom
August 1, 2014
Our hearts go out to Susan and her family. We knew John while in Ft. Hood, TX. We lived around the corner from them. Kelly was on the same staff as John.
August 1, 2014
Please accept my heart-felt sympathy on the loss of John. John was bigger than life and always a joy to work with. I unfortunately learned of John's illness after his death and was unable to connect with him to say good bye. I will always treasure my friendship with John and recognize he was a great friend. Rest in peace my friend!
John Sharman
July 31, 2014
John was a friend, mentor and an inspiration. I could only wish to do half of what he did with his life. I will miss him greatly. My condolences to his wife, Susan and family. Your friend, Greg Schuth
July 31, 2014
Our deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family at this difficult time. Mr. Bowen was right, John was truly a "unique" individual. He taught me one of life's biggest lessons "Always watch your six because no one else will".

John, Que descanses en paz.
The Tapia Family
July 31, 2014
Its with great sadness that I hear of John's passing. We worked together on several occasions and it was always a plus when we had John on our team. Our prayers go out to you and your family on this sad occasion.
Peter J. Starr
Peter Starr
July 30, 2014
In 1966 I met a great guy at Fort Belvoir,VA at USMA Prep - John Spears. Six decades with a good friend! I'll see John with Our Lord... Ken
Ken & Andi Frisbie
July 29, 2014
I will miss John. Great friend, student, athlete, soldier, businessman, teacher, a good man. We will miss John.
Bob Allaire
July 28, 2014
My wife (formerly Julie Lenti, Ladycliff, '72) and I have great memories of John from our days at the Academy- always upbeat, with that great smile, and a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
Our prayers to the family.
Dean Danielson
July 28, 2014
Susan,
We have never met, but I was a classmate of John's in F-1. We also were roommates for a while. I kept in contact with John, not frequently I'm afraid, over the years. I have always considered him a friend and that will not change with his passing. I am very sorry for your loss, and that of your children and grandchildren.

John Robinson
John Robinson
July 28, 2014
Annette and I are saddened by the passing of our long time friend John Spears, a unique individual. I look forward to the day to sit with Sue and tell John stories from our time together at Prep School and West Point.
Dick and Annette Graf
July 28, 2014
God's peace be with John and you, his family at this time. As a former classmate, room mate and fellow golfer I have fond memories of his strength of character, sense of humor and his occasional spurts of brilliant golf. He'd remind of that whenever it happened! Be thou at peace, my friend.
Dave Curry
July 27, 2014
John was a living example of our class motto, Professionally done. May he rest in peace.
Tom Atchison
July 27, 2014
John was a good man, and a good friend. As one of his classmates at West Point, I always admired him. I appreciated having him in my life, and just having the privilege of knowing him.
Robert Litchfield
July 27, 2014
May he rest in peace.
John Bantsolas
July 27, 2014
A salute to John Spears, a very distinguished member of The Long Grey Line from an admiring Classmate of "Professionally Done" '71. Our prayers are with you and your Family. Grip Hands.
William Mann
July 27, 2014
John was a great golf buddy, and I'll never forget his birdie on #9 at Leavenworth Golf Course when we were there together in the late 80s. Of course, he would never have let me. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Dick & Sabine Bridges
July 27, 2014
I have fond memories of our four years together at West Point in Company F-1. There were several West Point songs we sang while there. One line stands out as being appropriate as I remember John, "… of living and dying to honor. The corps ands the corps, and the corps." He did.
Edward Fenske
July 26, 2014
Dear Sue, Shane, Ryan, family and friends. We met the Spears in 1988 at Ft Benning as John took command of the battalion. And as many of you were, we to were adopted by the Spears family for life and we remain part of this special family to this very day. Our hearts are broken and we pray for you all. We miss you tremendously. Diana, Dave, David and Christina.
July 26, 2014
Sorry for your loss. May God and your fond memories of John bring your family peace and comfort during this difficult time---------Ms Porter
July 26, 2014
Sue and family, our prayers and hearts go out to your family. John will be missed but he is now with God.John has done his "duty to Thee and to our Country." May he be at peace.
Stephen Wilcox
July 26, 2014
Our prayers are with Sue and her family. We have such fond memories of John while serving together as Fort Hood. John, we are going to miss you. Clay & Sue Melton
Clay & Sue Melton
July 26, 2014
Sue, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We know all the wonderful people at Saint Georges will get you through this difficult time.
~Chad & Jodi Friese Family
July 25, 2014
Dear Sue,
John's classmates from the entire class of 1971 and especially Company F-1 have you and your family in our prayers and have John in our hearts.
Jim Floyd
Jim Floyd
July 25, 2014
John and Sue 2008
Norma
July 25, 2014
Sue and boys, my heart pains for your loss and our loss of Johnny. He was a great American, a great patriot and a great man. He will be sorely missed by all of his family in East TN.
Kelly Spears
July 25, 2014
Sue & Family, you have mine and my family's thoughts, prayers and sympathies. John was such a unique individual, and impacted so many, he will always be remembered in high regard.
Steven Bowen
July 24, 2014
Dear Sue,
I know all too well just what you are going through right now and you have my deepest sympathies. Trust that God will give you the strength go get through these early days and then it's a upward battle each and every day. If you ever need to talk or just cry with someone who knows exactly what you are going through, please call me anytime day or night. Let your family and friends comfort you and hold fast to the beautiful memories you and John shared together. Stay strong even when you think you can't.
Cheryl Hewitt
July 24, 2014
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Connie & Dick Schmidt
July 24, 2014
My deepest condolences to the entire Spear's Family. From one of his loyal Soldiers.
LTC John Bettasso
July 24, 2014
Sue my deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family at this difficult time. John was great person and he wil be miss by all. Keeping you and your family in my prayers. Love Judy Kenny , Alyssa and Carla McNamara
Judy McNamara
July 24, 2014
Dear Sue, from my family and I all the way from Sierra Leone, West Africa, our sincere condolences for your loss. John Spears was an icon, a senior colleague, and an inspiration to me during my days at IMPAC and Maine Pointe. I am shocked to hear of his passing, and know that he will be sorely missed. God bless you.
Modupe Taylor-Pearce
July 24, 2014
Sue & family
My deepest sympathy extended to you & your family. John was a very special person.
With sympathy
Dolly Apuzzo
Dolly Apuzzo
July 24, 2014
My deepest condolences to you, Sue, and the family on John's passing. He was an absolutely terrific human being, a leader in the truest sense of the word, and I'm sure, a great husband and father. You and John have been our role models since we first met over thirty years ago in Aschaffenburg. John has always been my hero and he will always remain so. I take comfort knowing that he is somewhere grinning, cracking jokes, keeping the guests intrigued and entertained as he waits for the rest of us. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

With love and deepest sympathy,

Dan and Marilyn Tarter
Dan and Marilyn Tarter
July 24, 2014
Sue, Shane, Ryan, and Family,
Our deepest sympathies are with you at this time of your loss. John will always be my hero as I fondly remember the years we spent together in Germany and Ft Hood. By far, he was the best commander, mentor, and professional example of a Soldier I have ever known. There is no doubt whatsoever that the souls in heaven are currently enjoying his extraordinary sense of humor and quick wit. Rest in peace my friend. Raun, Karen, Neal, and Eric Watson
July 24, 2014
Sue and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. I never had the pleasure of meeting John, but he sounds like an amazing man. My thoughts and prays are with you Sue at this very trying time. May God Bless you. Vicki Lee (Schneider)
Vicki Lee
July 24, 2014
A friend since 1965, full of life, and always a great guy. We were surprised to see each other in the mess hall my first morning at USMAPS. In November I spent a great evening with John and Sue in their beautiful home.

Requiescat in pace
Robert Brown
July 24, 2014
A friend since 1965, full of life, and always a great guy. We were surprised to see each other in the mess hall my first morning at USMAPS a year later

Last November I spent a great evening with John and Sue in their beautiful home.

Requiescat in pace
Robert Brown
July 24, 2014
Sue,thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this very difficult time. Such fond memories of John (and you) when we met so many years ago. May this special man rest in peace.
Lori and Lou Apuzzo
July 24, 2014
Dear Sue--

Stan and I send our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. We both wish we could have met him. Please do not hesitate to call if you need anything at all.

Most sincerely,

Georgia Moen and Stan Kline
July 24, 2014
Sue, Shane, Ryan, Suzanne, Lola,Lucy, Bubba & Bart-
We pray you will all find Comfort & Peace knowing John is at peace now. He loved you all so very much. He will be greatly missed. Keep his memory alive & you will smile! We Loved him so much & Love you all so very much.
Bob, Shelley, Catrena, Matt, Alec & Ryan
Shelley Voci
July 24, 2014
Remembering you John. The ability to make what could be a boring meeting into something fun and interesting, in new ways, was a gift. We will miss your smile and quirky humor. You were a true blessing to all who knew you.
Kim Stapleton
July 24, 2014
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4. Sending our prayers and love from Florida!
Candace Oliver
July 24, 2014
Our condolences to you, Sue, and your family. We have always enjoyed those moments talking to you and John (and the pups) when we ran across you two in our neighborhood. Our prayers are with you.
Tim and Joanie Duesing-Grant
July 24, 2014
Dear Sue and Family,
I worked with John at Maine Pointe for 4 years. He was very kind to me, took me under his wing, and taught me the ropes. I will miss our spirited banter about grammar rules and editing. His social honesty was refreshing and will be deeply missed. Praying that you will find comfort in the hilarious memories you have of him. Warm Regards, Mary Chin
July 24, 2014
Sue & family, our deepest heartfelt sympathy at this very sad time. John was such a great man & will be missed by so many. You are all in our prayers . With love & sympathy Jo-Ann , Walter, Walter Jr & John Gradzik
JO-ANN Gradzik
July 24, 2014
Was an honor to know him and he will be greatly missed! Love and hugs to the family!
Chip & Cheryll Graves
July 24, 2014
Dear Sue & Family,
I was so sorry to hear about John. He was the life of the party at the Christmas dinners at Marigolds and will be greatly missed. Sue, you are in my thoughts and prayers. If you need anything please do not hesitate to call us.
Linda, Larry & Tim O'Brien
Linda O'Brien
July 24, 2014
Sue, our heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I never had the opportunity to meet your husband but I know we would of been good friends. God bless you and we know he is in good hands. I know John and I will met someday.
Al Mullins
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