After nearly 60 years of marriage, Barbara Ann Spears, 77, and Tommie “Tom” Edward Spears, 79, of Kamiah passed away peacefully within six weeks of each other. Barbara passed March 2, 2017 in Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center at Spokane, Wash., and memorial services were held at Trenary Funeral Home in Kooskia on March 4. Tom Spears passed April 14, 2017 at their home and memorial services are being held at the Masonic Lodge in Kamiah on April 22 at 10 a.m. The memorial will include Masonic and Military Honors services.
Barbara was born on July 6, 1939 in Gary, Ind., a daughter of the late Robert W. Marsh and Melba M. Marsh. Her sisters are Rebecca Jane Starr (husband John) of Crown Point, Ind. and Mary Ellen Reich (husband Bob) of Lakewood Ranch, Fla. She attended public schools in Crown Point, and graduated in 1957.
She was united in marriage to Tom on Dec. 31, 1957 at First Methodist Church in Hobart, Ind. Interesting fact to note, Barbara at 18 years old was allowed to marry without parent’s permission according to Indiana State Law. However, Tom at 20 years old and in the Navy had to have his mother’s permission according to the same law.
Barbara spent several years on the West Coast while her husband, Tommie, was a career Navy man. After his retirement, they moved to Idaho where they built a cabin on a mountain above the Clearwater River gorge outside of Kamiah.
Barbara was a doer and a very organized one! Barbara was an avid reader. She also enjoyed crocheting and knitting, and riding her horses. Barbara fostered pets and found homes for them (often rehabilitating them before finding them their new home). Barbara was Queen Bee of the Hattitudes Red Hatter Society of Kamiah, a group of mature women who wear red hats and purple clothes that do not go together.
She and Tom were members of the local Chamber of Commerce. For 10 years she worked for CASA at the Orofino Hospital helping troubled youth. Later she became one of their board members continuing to advocate for the abused and mistreated. At one time, she owned the local Kamiah Flower Shoppe. She and Tom also ran the annual Kamiah Barbecue Days for many years.
A website was created in her honor, if you would like to say some kind words please visit http://barbaraspears.weebly.com/.
Tom was born in Gary, Ind. as well, a son of the late Samuel P. Spears and Martha M. Spears. His brother is Richard L. Spears (wife Marjorie) of Valparaiso, Ind., and sister Marcia S. La Bounty (husband John) of Westville, Ind. He spent 22 years in the Navy and was deployed three times to Vietnam. Tom started his Navy career as enlisted, later became a Warrant Officer, finally received a commission, and retired as a Lieutenant.
Tom kept busy by fighting fires, substitute teaching, roofing, bowling, and being an auctioneer. He was a member of the Big Hatters of Kamiah. He also kept busy by battling the noxious weeds on his property especially the dreaded YELLOW STAR THISTLE.
Tom was known for his culinary skills and made a wicked omelet.
Grateful for having shared in Tom and Barbara Spears’ lives are their single child, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Their daughter is Deborah A. Clark (husband Dan) of Kamiah, grandchildren are Robert E. Milchak (wife Joella) of Las Vegas, Nev., Sean M. Diffin (wife Ashlee) of Orofino, Rachael M. Wallace of Shaw AFB, S.C. and Tommie J.W. Crepeau, also of Shaw AFB. Great-grandchildren are Thatcher, Triston, and Wyatt Milchak, Rilee and Jace Diffin, and Jamison Wallace, along with many loving nieces and nephews across the country.
Tom and Barbara Spears were preceded in death by their parents and son Michael Spears.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to Animal Ark, Shriners or a charity of your choice.