Dorothy J. Spanos
Oct. 22, 1934 - Sept. 18, 2021
Dorothy J. Spanos, of Crawford, Texas, courageously battled Bulbar ALS over the past year and passed away peacefully at her home at the age of 86 on Saturday, September 18, 2021, surrounded in love by her family. Rosary will begin at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 21, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home, with Father Albert as celebrant. Visitation will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2 p.m., Wednesday, September 22, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Waco, with Father Boniface officiating. Burial will follow at St. Paul Memorial Cemetery in Crawford.
Dorothy was a faithful and devoted Catholic. She attended St. Eugene's Catholic Church in McGregor, and St. Paul the Apostle, in Horseshoe Bay.
Dorothy was born October 22, 1934, in Waco, to Martin Zapalac and Margaret Zapalac (Muhl). Dorothy grew up in LaGrange until she moved to Waco, where she graduated from Waco High at the age of 16. Following graduation, she attended vocational school and worked on the top floor of the ALICO building where she survived the 1953 Waco tornado.
Dorothy married the love of her life Nick L. Spanos on October 19, 1956, and shared 56 years of marriage prior to his passing in 2013. They met through their love for horses and were both members at the Waco Saddle Club.
In 1966, Dorothy and Nick began their own personal company with two old trucks and a tractor for Red Arrow Freight Lines, LeeWay Motor Freight and Tex-Pack Express, which led them to owning and operating Nick L. Spanos Trucking Company. Together Dorothy and Nick expanded their operations by adding Nick L. Spanos Warehouses and Texas Aero, where she became a pilot. As a result, they became a transportation icon with first-class operations in the trucking and aeronautical industries. She was a very successful business woman and loved working even after "retirement". Flying ND Ranch and the Spanos Coffee Station in Crawford kept them involved in the business realm.
Dorothy considered her family to be her biggest accomplishment and blessing in life. She had two daughters, Kathy and Fran, and her legacy grew with six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. She was the matriarch of the family and her countless traditions, both sacred and fun-loving, will be carried on for years to come. Dorothy never knew a stranger and made friends wherever she went. You could usually find her hanging out with friends at Ridgewood Country Club and enjoying time at her second home in Horseshoe Bay. No matter where she was, or what she was doing, she always had an infectious smile on her face.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her brother, Martin Zapalac Jr.; sister-in-law, Bessie Zerlentes; brothers-in-law, Harry Spanos and John Zerlentes; nephew, Erick Spengler; great-niece, Angela Maine (Tanner).
Dorothy is survived by her daughters, Kathy Leuschner (Spanos) and husband, Vernon, of Gholson, and Fran Shelton (Spanos) and husband, Ricky, of Crawford; grandchildren, Bobby Spanos, of Crawford, Nicole Lawrie (Spanos) and husband, Jason, of Arlington, Virginia, Chris Spanos and wife, Nicole, of Crawford, Texas, Brandon Shelton, of Buda, Brianna Hunstiger (Shelton) and husband, Kyle, of The Woodlands, and Nick Shelton and wife, Taylor, of Woodway; her great-grandchildren, Ashlyn Spanos, Gracie Morrill, Kameron Spanos, Mia Morrill, Hunter Spanos, Korbin Spanos, Brody Lawrie, Brooklyn Hunstiger, Jackson Hunstiger and Tatum Shelton; her sister-in-law, Yvonne Spanos of Addison, Illinois; nephew, Stephen Spanos of Addison; nieces, Pam Tanner-Lacour of Conroe, Texas, Nicolette Zapalac of Houston, and Kristi Spengler, of Frankfort, Illinois. She is also survived by numerous cousins and extended family members and her faithful dog, Lady.
Pallbearers are Bobby Spanos, Chris Spanos, Nick Shelton, Brandon Shelton, Jason Lawrie, and Kyle Hunstiger.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Providence Hospice and Divine Home Health for the extraordinary care provided. We are extremely grateful for their care, compassion and kindness you provided for Dorothy and our family during this difficult time.
Memorial donations may be made to Fuzzy Friends Rescue.
The family invites you to share a message or memory on our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com
Published by Waco Tribune-Herald from Sep. 21 to Sep. 22, 2021.