William Richard "Bill" Spahr
Granite Falls, NC - William Richard "Bill" Spahr, 95, formerly of Reno, NV, went to the Lord on October 14, 2020, at Hickory Falls Health & Rehabilitation Center. He was born in Marion, IN, on January 23, 1925, to Oliver Monroe and Kathryne Elizabeth (Bourke) Spahr. A 1942 graduate of Fairmount High School, he enlisted that same year in the United States Navy. Bill was a veteran of both WWII and the Korean War, and early on he learned to fly and maintain the OS2U "Kingfisher" as a Plane Captain for Scout Observation Service Unit (SOSU) 3, Alameda Naval Air Station, CA. His follow-on assignments fixing and maintaining helicopters -- a relatively new technology at the time -- took him all over the Pacific theater, and he subsequently transferred into the US Air Force to do the same for that service in 1956. He retired in 1963 with the rank of Technical Sergeant at Stead AFB, NV, and thereafter went to work for the US Postal Service in Reno, where he served as a longtime chapter president of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), Local 936. He retired from the USPS as a supervisor after 17 years and then went to work for the Washoe County School District where, after 10 years of crisscrossing the county delivering mail and other essentials, he retired a third time and proudly became a "triple-dipper".
Always generous with his time off, Bill was once even honored in Japan for his volunteerism at orphanages and aid to the disabled. Additionally, he served as Cubmaster for Pack 152 and as a Committee Member for Troop 152, both BSA units in Reno, as well as president of the Japanese American Citizens League Reno chapter. Perhaps most significantly he was a Thirty-third Degree (33°) Inspector General Honorary Mason and member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Past Worshipful Master of Pyramid Lodge No. 43 F&AM, advisor to Rainbow Girls Pyramid Assembly No. 20, and Past Worthy Patron of Rose Chapter No. 27, OES. Bill was exceptionally proud of his service in 1992-93 as Worthy Grand Patron of Nevada when he and his dear friend and Worthy Grand Matron, Jerrie Lee Perkins of Fallon, traveled all over the state and elsewhere visiting chapters. They had the time of their lives and made many joyful OES memories.
An avid fisherman and gardener, Bill also enjoyed hunting, wood carving, reading, writing "Cowboy" poetry and all manner of assorted verse, and most importantly helping those in need. Having grown up during the Great Depression (which he liked to joke "was not all that great"), he learned how to be a good neighbor, work hard on farms at an early age, and -- notably -- how to fix just about anything. Truly he was a member of that "Greatest Generation".
He will be deeply missed by his wife, Betty Sue, daughter Mieko Ellen Spahr of Reno and Kailua-Kona, HI, son John (Jennifer) Spahr of Lafayette, CA, grandchildren Gordon Spahr of Tampa, FL, and Owen Spahr of Goleta, CA, brothers James Monroe (Dixie) Spahr of Hawthorne, FL, and Donald Wayne (Sara) Spahr of Fairmount, sister Juanita Rosalie Thorne of Marion, sisters-in-law Norma Lou (Homer) Kilgore of Jasper, AL, and Carol Cyr Nelson Spahr of West Lafayette, IN, brother-in-law William Skeldon of Oak Hill, WV, cousins, nephews, nieces, and many friends across the country, and especially Marta Goodwin of Granite Falls, his beloved, devoted caregiver. He was also preceded in death by his first wife, Ayako Michiko Spahr, and siblings Herman Grant Spahr, Marjorie Louise Warren, Bertha Gene Skeldon, and Joseph Earl Spahr.
Due to current public health concerns, the family has deferred funeral services and will instead present a celebration of his life on what would have been his 96th birthday. This online memorial will take place on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 4pm Pacific Time (7pm Eastern), so please mark your calendars, send your email addresses to [email protected]
with Subject line "Bill Spahr Memorial", and you will be sent an invitation with instructions on how best to attend. In the meantime, condolences and memories may be shared online at https://www.bass-smithfuneralhome.com/obituaries/William-Richard-Bill-Spahr?obId=18668120#/celebrationWall
. Please make any memorial donations in his name to the animal rescue foundation of your choice.
Dad, we hope there's ice cream in Heaven, too. Sorry you missed seeing "your" Braves play in the National League Championship Series, yet watching them blow their lead probably would have killed you anyhow!
Rest in peace, Dad.
Published by The Reno Gazette Journal and Lyon County News Leader from Oct. 20, 2020 to Jan. 18, 2021.