Cdr. John R. Spear ’54
Commander John R. Spear passed away August 10, 2018. He was born in Bar Harbor, Maine on March 14, 1932. He graduated from Bar Harbor High School in 1950 and was class President. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Maine Maritime Academy and a Master of Education from The Citadel.
After graduation from Maine Maritime Academy he entered the Navy and served 23 years on active duty, 21 of which were in the Submarine service. He served on the USS Medregal (SS 480), USS Wahoo (SS 565), USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN 633), USS Clamagore (SS 343) as Executive Officer, and the USS Thornback (SS 480) as Commanding Officer. He also served on the Staff of Submarine Officers School New London, Connecticut, Staff of Commander Submarine Forces Pacific Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Staff of Commander Submarine Flotilla Six in Charleston, South Carolina. He retired from the military in 1977 as Executive Officer of the Polaris Missile Facility Atlantic. While in the service, Cdr. Spear was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Medal with Gold Star, Navy Unit Commendation and several letters of Commendation.
At the Polaris Missile Facility, he met Anne Tovey (a Native Charlestonian) and they married in 1978. After retirement from the Navy he was employed as a Field Engineer by General Electric Company and transferred to Newport, Rhode Island. He retired there in 1985 and they moved to their retirement home in Bar Harbor, Maine. After four years the call of the South was too much for his wife Anne to overcome so they moved back to South Carolina and settled in Mt. Pleasant.
Cdr. Spear was active in many societies. He was a member and past President of the Major General William Moultrie Chapter Sons of the America Revolution, South Carolina Society War of 1812, Dames and Barons of the Magna Charta, Washington Light Infantry, Palmetto Guards, Charleston Chapter South Carolina Genealogy Society and past member of the Mayflower Society. He was given a distinguished Southern Citizen Award by the South Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans for his work in Magnolia Cemetery Soldiers Burial Ground and the Hunley Crew burials.
Cdr. Spear was predeceased by his wife Anne Tovey Spear, son John R, Spear, Jr., a brother Robert Seely, a sister Joy Jordan and a brother Oliver W. Spear and a step daughter Cheryl Kennington. He is survived by his sister Mary Jane Graves of Colchester, Connecticut, sister Laura Jean Henry of Winthrop, Maine daughters Jennifer Wright and Audrey L. Haselden (Kent) of Mt. Pleasant, SC, step daughters Linda Hassell (John) of Charleston, SC, Debra Javaherian and Susan McLaughlin of New York and step son Warren McLaughlin of Gaston, South Carolina, 5 grandchildren, 8 step-grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. He was a member of the Church of the Holy Communion.
There will be no funeral. Entombment will be at Magnolia Cemetery Mausoleum. Arrangements entrusted to PALMETTO CREMATION SOCIETY, 11 Cunnington Ave. Charleston, SC 29405. Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or shared at www.palmettocremationsociety.com. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/charleston