The Rev. Leslie (Les) Edward Spear was received into the arms of Jesus on November 28, 2019. He was born August 30, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
He is preceded in death by his father, Everett General Spear, Jr. He is survived by his wife Tanya Bartlett Spear, of Hemphill; daughters Anne Katherine Spear, of Oxford, Mississippi and Elizabeth Ashley Spear of Austin by former wife Jenny Mays Cunningham of Slocum, and son-in-law Christopher Aguilar, of Austin; stepchildren Bret Speegle, of Nacogdoches and Cassie Lopez, of Corpus Christi; mother Dorothy Mildred Smith Spear, of Waxahachie; sister Peggy Louise Spear Beye, of Narragansett, R.I.; grandchildren Megan Danille, Savannah, and Jonas Lopez, Pia Rose Spear-Aguilar, Rocket Ehrhardt Spear-Aguilar; father-in-law Trumon Bartlett; sisters-in-law Ellen Bartlett and Teresa Bartlett; brothers-in-law Trumon Bartlett, II, Ronny, David, and Danny Mays; nieces Robyn Beye Lentz and husband Randy, Kelly Beye Clements and husband Daven; grand-nieces and nephews Westmoreland Skipper and wife Brittany, Colton Clements, Amber Johnson and husband Brent, Heather Kinder and husband Josh, and Josh Christensen; great-nieces and nephew Maliyah, Alaina, and Davina Johnson and Brooke, Hilarie and Zachary Kinder; and many other family members and friends.
Les was a graduate of Waxahachie High School in Waxahachie, Texas (1965), Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, and the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. He served in the U.S. Navy 1967-1970 and was stationed in Marietta, Georgia.
He worked with Southwestern Bell Telephone in Dallas and Houston from 1970-1985 before working as an independent contractor in fiber optics up to the present, and for a time was employed as a long-haul trucker. He was involved in Kairos prison, Cursillo, youth, and street shelter ministries.
On April 5, 2002, he was ordained as Deacon, and on October 23, 2002, he was ordained into the priesthood in the Diocese of South Dakota, where he was Vicar of St. John’s, Crow Creek; Christ Church, Ft. Thompson; Christ Church, Chamberlain; and, Holy Comforter, Lower Brule.
Cherokee by heritage, by heart he served the Lakota people, and was given his Lakota Name, Mazato Akicita, which means “Blue Iron Soldier for Your People.” He returned to Texas and served in the Diocese of West Texas as rector of Grace Episcopal in Weslaco and St. Luke’s in Cypress Mill before retiring to the Diocese of Texas and serving as a supply priest in East Texas.
A world record-holding cow-chip thrower, formidable player of pool, ping pong, football, golf, and checkers, 50-yard field goal kicker, climber of 74-100 telephone poles in a day, captivating story-teller, long-distance driver, owner of over 400 vehicles in his lifetime, business owner, and priest, Les Spear is utterly irreplaceable and will be deeply and profoundly missed. He had a heart for service and a gift for reaching the people who most needed help. He loved our Lord, and the world is a better place because Les Spear lived in it.
A service of celebration for his life will be held at Christ Episcopal, San Augustine, on Saturday, December 14, at 2 p.m. The Rt. Rev. Jeff Fisher is presiding. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Trinity on the Border, P.O. Box 231 La Feria, TX 78559. https://thebordermission.org, or a ministry of your choice.
Register book may be signed, and condolences may be left at http://www.starrfuneralhome.com.