Ronald Fredrick Spears passed away December 27, 2018 at home in Port Townsend. He was born June 6, 1938 to Fred and Katherine (Strausbaugh) Spears in Osawatomie, Kansas. Sons of a heavy equipment operator, Ron and his older brother Jim grew up traveling across the country from one road building project to the next. They lived in a trailer which the family towed behind their 1939 Chevrolet and 1946 Hudson. The family eventually settled in Richland, Washington where Ron’s parents worked at Hanford. Ron graduated from Columbia High School in 1956, and remained a life-long Richland Bombers fan, attending many basketball games over the years.
Ron earned his B.S. in Psychology at Washington State University and his Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Washington University. His professional career began as a junior high teacher and City Recreation Director in Garden Grove, California. While there, he watched the Washington Huskies defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the 1961 Rose Bowl. Later in 1961, Ron moved back to Washington where he married Sheila Stambaugh on August 18, 1962. Ron taught junior high and coached sports in Pasco. He and Sheila purchased their first home in Richland and their first son, Robert, was born in 1964. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Wenatchee, where Ron began his career in psychology. His career brought the family to Sterling, Illinois where, in addition to his psychology career, Ron purchased a restaurant and lounge that he managed with his cousin. In 1974, Ron and Sheila’s second son, Michael, was born in Sterling. Driving two Studebaker Avantis across country, the family moved to Port Townsend in 1976 where Ron worked as a psychologist for Port Townsend and Jefferson County Schools until his retirement in 2006.
In addition to an active professional career, Ron fully engaged in family life. Family vacations included road trips to several states across the country. Ron enjoyed role-playing games with his son Rob and friends and he shared his passion for old cars with his son Michael. His interest in cars began in high school when he customized a 1949 Mercury in typical 50s fashion. Ron’s projects over the years included a 1957 Corvette, Avantis and antique Fords. Most recently he put the final touches on the restoration of his 1952 Ford truck. Ron enjoyed traveling to visit friends and relatives. This past summer, Ron and Sheila drove to Wenatchee to visit close friends and continued on to Yakima to visit childhood friends. Ron attended many of his high school reunions, including his 55th, for which his brother and wife from Michigan joined him.
Survivors include his wife Sheila; sons Robert and Michael (Brenda); grandsons Nathan, Luke, Joseph, Levi and Timothy; and brother James (Sandie). Ron was preceded in death by his parents and two infant grandsons, Cameron and Micah.
Ron will be remembered by family and friends for his wit and humor.