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Robert (Bob) Leroy Spears, 86, of Kinston passed away on Thursday, April 25, 2019. His birth certificate stated he was born March 15, 1933 in Goldsboro, NC to Leroy Clark Spears and Ruby Lee Starling. His Granddaddy was the tailor on Center Street in Goldsboro and his Aunt “Sister” raised him. “Sister” was one of the first in the family to graduate from ECTeachy (now ECU) in Greenville, NC and until recently was one of the oldest living graduates of East Carolina Teaching School.
When growing up, Bob always celebrated his birthday on April 15 until he received a copy of his birth certificate to join the National Guard. Finding out that he was actually born on March 15 he always made it a point to celebrate his birthday twice a year.
He went to New Bern High School and then joined the National Guard. His National Guard unit was activated because of the Korean War and he was transferred to Fort Campbell, KY. There he met and married Bettye Carol Brown. He was honored as the youngest 1st Sargent at that time. He was then stationed in Stuttgart, Germany and his son Mark Leroy Spears was born.
After his service to our country he moved to Clarksville, TN to live close to his wife’s relatives and worked in Heating and Air. There his daughter Bunnie Marie Spears was born. Then he lived three years in Brownsville, TN while working for TRANE Heating and Air.
The next move was to Goldsboro, NC to live close to his Aunt “Sister”. He held various jobs and even owned a printing company on George Street.
He divorced Bettye Brown after 25 years of marriage. Later he married Marie Ewell and gained three step-children Gail Smith, Herbert Smith, and Bobby Smith. Moving to Kinston, NC he worked with Humphrey Heating and Air in Jacksonville, NC for many years as he helped to build this company into the Major Subcontractor within the Eastern North Carolina area.
For many years he was active in the Civil Air Patrol and helped fly Search and Rescue missions over the Eastern Coast Line. He was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, American Red Cross and AARP.
He is survived by his wife Marie Ewell Spears; five children – Mark Spears, Bunnie Spears Peterson, Gail Smith Turner, Herbert Smith, and Bobby Smith; three Grand Children – Heidi Puckett Jones, Paul Puckett, Jr., and Tracy Smith Anderson; and nine (9) Great Grand Childern.
He will be missed!
Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 28, 2019 at Spilman Memorial Baptist Church. Funeral service will follow at 3:00 p.m. with Rev. Dr. H. Powell Dew, Jr. officiating. A family graveside service will be held Monday, April 29, 2019 at Westview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Spilman Memorial Baptist Church, 601 Madison Avenue, Kinston, North Carolina 28501.