Funeral services were held Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009, at First Lutheran Church in Rugby, for William “Bill” Speare, 89, of Mayville, formerly of Rugby, who died Tuesday, Nov. 10 at Luther Memorial Care Center in Mayville.
Burial was in Persilla Watts Cemetery.
Bill was born July 21, 1920 in Lyleton, Manitoba, a son of John and Loretta (Dishart) Speare. He came to North Dakota with his parents in 1922 and was raised and educated in Kenmare, graduating from Kenmare High School in 1938. After high school, he went to Washington to work in the orchards. He returned to North Dakota and worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps near Kramer and Upham. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, becoming a Gunner’s Mate and progressing to the rank of Gunner’s Mate Second Class. He married Evelyn Hinds near the end of the war and began working for Northwestern Bell Telephone immediately following his honorable discharge in 1945. He worked for the telephone company for over 30 years, working in Grand Forks, Lakota, Leeds and Rugby. Evelyn preceded him in death. He married Olga (Huovila) Hutton on April 4, 1970 in Rugby. Olga died on April 4, 2005. He eventually moved to Grand Forks and then Mayville to be closer family. For the past couple of years, he was a resident at Luther Memorial Home in Mayville.
He was a member of First Lutheran Church and a member and past Commander of The Clarence Larson American Legion Post #23.
He is survived by his sons, Barry, Lorry, Dave and Don; step-children, Allan Hutton, Linda Welker and Leah Saputo; 27 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Evelyn; his second wife, Olga; brothers, Leo and Harold; sisters, Mary Speare and Katherine Wherley; and step-children, Gene Hutton and Judy Pearson.
Pastor Sharon Baker officiated. Music was provided by Jordan, Naomi and Amanda Speare, vocalists, and Pam Anderson, organist.
Casketbearers were Joey Peters, Wil Speare, Robert Brossart, Sr., Jordan Speare, Dennis Peters and Steve Torpy.
Military honors were accorded by The Clarence Larson American Legion Post #23 Honor and Color Guard of Rugby and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors of Minot.
Arrangements by Anderson Funeral Home, Rugby.