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William Walter Spaeter


1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
William Walter Spaeter Obituary
March 8, 1924 - September 21, 2017 Our much loved father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and brother joined his parents, wife Gladys "DeeDee", son William and sister-in-law Georgian "Jane" Spaeter in heaven. While he had the opportunity to travel the world, he was a true Angeleno; born, raised, educated, worked, and resided for all of his 93 years in Los Angeles. The son of LAFD firefighter Alfred Spaeter Sr. and homemaker Julia Agnes Foley Spaeter, Bill played stickball in the streets of LA, rode his bike with friends and older brother Alfred Jr. due west through the wide open spaces from downtown Los Angeles to the ocean. One of his favorite stories-and he had many of them-was, after spending all his money at Ocean Park Pier, hunger drove him to grab lima beans from the fields on his way back home to 77th Street. His mother then presented him with his cold dinner- lima beans. He saw the effects of the Depression, enjoyed the Los Angeles-hosted 1932 Olympics (where his father purchased one of the athlete's housing huts as a club house for the boys), and graduated from Fremont High School. After his freshman year at USC, and advent of WW II, he enlisted in the US Navy where he trained as a Naval aviator, flying F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat fighters, attaining the rank of Lieutenant JG. After the war, the "Spaeter Boys" returned to USC, and continued with Sigma Chi fraternity life and Trojan baseball- Bill at first base and Al at second. Their Trojan enthusiasm inspired a legacy of six family members who also attended USC-and Bill returned also to complete a Master's degree. His love of the game led him to a 10-year professional baseball career, from the Durham Bulls to the Roanoke Red Sox to the Salem Senators (often crossing paths with brother Al), until wife DeeDee got him to settle down in West Los Angeles. He thoroughly enjoyed his time at University High School as a basketball and baseball coach, winning multiple Western League titles. He moved on to LAUSD administration and finally to the Los Angeles Community College District where he retired in 1984 as the Vice Chancellor of Personnel Services. He reveled in 33 years of retirement, travelling with DeeDee and family and friends, and watching his precious grandchildren grow into adulthood. He got to know grandson Matthew's fiancée Margie McGregor (of Houston, Texas), and will certainly be present at their wedding in spirit. Bill was also a cherished "Uncle Bill" to not only to the extended Spaeter clan, but to the very special Whelan family. Bill was known for always having a positive outlook, and a smile on his face, especially when a USC football or Dodger game was on. Bill is survived by his brother, Alfred Spaeter Jr., daughter and son-in-law Diane and Richard Webb, son Kurt Spaeter, granddaughters Emily Spaeter and Ashley Grodnick, grandson Dr. Matthew Webb, granddaughter Claire Webb, niece Lori Carlson and husband Doug, nephews Larry Spaeter and Robert de la Vara, grandnieces Kelsey Carlson, Courtney Harden and husband Jack, and cousins George and Joni Allen. All the family thanks LaDonna Whitfield, Elvire "Rose" Preval and Dennis Babila of Always Right Home Care for truly caring about and for our beloved Bill. Deep thanks also go to Pastor Nathan Kilian of Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Santa Monica, for giving him true peace and a clear path on that final day. Funeral services will be held at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 1730 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, at 11 am on Monday, October 9, 2017. Graveside service will follow at Inglewood Park Cemetery. Reception to follow.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Oct. 5 to Oct. 6, 2017
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