PAUL SPEHR (1931 - 2020)

  • "Chris, you were lucky to have a great dad."
    - Michael Semyan
  • "Paul was the eldest of 26 first cousins on his mother's..."
    - Bob Butterbrodt
  • "Paul was my first cousin and a pillar in our extended..."
    - Charlotte Frerichs
  • "We miss Paul a lot. We "chatted" via FB almost every day. I..."
    - Joe and Donna Dalton
  • "Paul became my first mentor in the Film archiving world,..."
    - Dr. Jan-Christopher Horak
Service Information
Memorial service
Friday, Jan. 31, 2020
1:00 PM
Library of Congress
Mumford room
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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 or Frederick Health Hospice.

Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 15, 2020
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