Obituaries — 2/9/12

Published 10:02am Thursday, February 9, 2012

Harold Spears

The Honorable Harold Dupuy Spears, 92, passed away February 8, 2012. He was born February 9, 1919, in Ironton, the son of the late George Spears and Margaret Dupuy Spears.

Harold Spears, a product of Ironton High School, graduated from Marshall College, now Marshall University, Magna Cum Laude, in 1941 and accepted an academic scholarship to Duke University School of Law. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he entered the U.S. Navy, was commissioned as a Lieutenant and served the first half of WWII in the North Atlantic on convoy duty aboard a destroyer-escort. For the second half of the war his ship, the USS Bull, was refitted for advanced invasion duty and re-stationed to the Pacific Theatre where Lt. Spears participated in battles at Iwo Jima, the Phillippine Islands, Okinawa and Luzon, and received a Letter of Commendation as Gunnery Officer for valor during the invasion operations at Luzon where his fire control of 40mm battery resulted in the destruction of an enemy suicide plane diving at his ship. Following the War, Lt. Spears returned to Duke Law School, where he met and married Wanda White of Charlotte, N.C. He graduated from Duke Law School with a JD in 1947, and returned to Ironton to enter the private practice of law.

From 1953 to 1961, Mr. Spears was elected and served as Prosecuting Attorney for Lawrence County. Together with Sheriff Carl Rose, Prosecutor Spears waged a campaign against gambling, vice and activities of the “Syndicate”(mafia), and tried numerous murder and felony cases without an assistant prosecutor. Three of those murder cases were subject of stories published in National Detective Magazines

From 1961 to 1964, Harold Spears served as Lawrence County’s Probate Juvenile Judge, his popularity and integrity being such that he was the only probate judge ever elected by “write-in” vote. As Probate Judge, he caused the courtroom to be remodeled using penitentiary labor to reduce cost; initiated micro filming process for Probate Court records; presided over the first jury cases in Probate Court; received a Certificate of Award for service to youths from the National Association of Deputy U.S. Marshals(1962); served as a Chairman of the Volunteer Services and Rehabilitation Committee of the Ohio Mental Health Association(1962); and served as President of the Lawrence County Bar Asociation 1962-1963.

Judge Spears returned to private practice in 1964, forming Currie, Moore & Spears, later establishing his own private practice, and in 1978 was joined by son David R. Spears to form Spears and Spears.

After more than six decades of service to the law and community, Judge Spears was recently awarded the prestigious Ohio State Bar Foundation’s Honorary Life Fellowship Award given in recognition of a life’s work exemplifying integrity, honor, courtesy and professionalism. His acceptance speech can be viewed at You Tube “Harold D. Spears.”

Judge Spears volunteered his time in many other civic and church activities, including participation in the original organization of Ironton Little League Baseball and served as its original Vice President; Ironton Lions Club President 1952-1953; Member of Masonic bodies including Knight Templar and Shrine; Ironton Tiger Clan President 1968; Board of Trustees Ironton Country Club; Grand Marshall-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade1968; member of the Navy League and established the observance of Navy Night Memorial service; member and trustee of the finance committee of First United Methodist Church; and Sunday School class teacher since 1950.

In earlier years, Judge Spears played in local baseball and softball leagues, enjoyed tennis and golf, and especially loved the joy of competition and fellowship. He strove to achieve. He answered the call of duty for his country, believed in justice for all, loved his family, and placed his trust and faith in the Almighty Father.

Judge Spears is survived by his lovely and loving wife Wanda, sons, David Richard Spears and his wife Sue of Ironton, Harold Craig Spears and his wife Teri of Charlotte, N.C.; daughters, Joan Marie Spears Halcomb and her husband Joseph of Camarillo, Calif. and Margaret Spears Asef and her husband, Keith of Alpharetta, Ga.

He is also survived by nine grandchildren, Christen Spears Hignett and her husband Kyle of Columbus, David Matthew Spears of Ironton, Allison Halcomb Fessenden and her husband Jim of San Diego, Calif., Alyssa Halcomb of San Diego, Calif., Hallie K. Spears, David C. Spears and Alexander W. Spears, all of Charlotte, and Madison Nicole Asef and Carter Keith Asef of Alpharetta; and his six great-grandchildren, Reese Fessenden, twins Autumn and Brit Fessenden, Jillian Fessenden, and twins Braden and Elise Hignett.

A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church on Saturday at 11 a.m. Visitation will be Friday from 6-9 p.m. at Phillips Funeral Home. The body will lie in state one hour prior to the services on Saturday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, the Ohio State Bar Foundation, 1700 Lake Shore Drive, Columbus, OH 43204, or to any area Hospice or Palliative Care. To offer condolences to the family, please visit


Kyle Tilley

WHEELERSBURG — Kyle Matthew Tilley, 27 of Wheelersburg, died Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, at his residence.  He was born May 16, 1984 in Portsmouth, to Bernard (Kim) Tilley and Lisa Thornton Jones, both of Wheelersburg.  He was a phone representative for Tele Communications.

He attended Adams Community Church.

He is survived by his parents, his fiancée, Mandy Jenkins; three brothers, Eil Tilley Auston Tilley and Koltan Tilley; one brother, Jerod (Nikki) Tilley; and three sisters, Mary Tilley, Kaylee Tilley and Mandy Hotard.  He is also survived by grandparents, Bernard Sr. and Janet Tilley and Cora Marshall.

He was preceded in death by one brother, Josh Tilley and stepfather, Al Jones. Celebration of Live will be Friday at 11a.m. at Wheelersburg United Methodist Church with Pastor Brad Brandt officiating.

Burial will be in Clapboard Cemetery.  Friends may call at the Harrison-Pyles Funeral Home today from 5 to 8 p.m. and one hour before the service on Friday.  To help offset funeral expenses an account has been set up at American Savings Bank or you may send contributions to Harrison-Pyles Funeral Home 11623 Gallia Pike Wheelersburg, OH 45694.


Edna McCown

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Edna Mae Martin McCown, 91, of Huntington, widow of Lewis Edward McCown, passed away Tuesday Feb. 7, 2012, at Jo-Lin Health Center.  She worked formerly for the Huntington Dress Factory.  Funeral services will be conducted 2 p.m. Saturday at Chapman’s Mortuary, Huntington.  Burial will be in Rome Cemetery, Proctorville.  Friends may visit after noon until service time Saturday at Chapman’s Mortuary.


Mary Eaton

PROCTORVILLE — Mary L. Eaton, 83, of Proctorville, died Monday, Feb. 5, 2012, at Best Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Hall Funeral Home with Pastor Dwayne Shugert. Burial will be in Rome Cemetery. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. today. Condolences may be expressed to the family at



William Blake

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — William Blake, 47, of Huntington, died Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, at the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House. Funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Hall Funeral Home. Visitation is 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday. Condolences may be expressed to the family at


Karl Fulks

CHESAPEAKE — Karl Jack Fulks, 84, of Chesapeake, died Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, at Jo-Lin Health Care Center. Funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hall Funeral Home. Burial will be in Rome Cemetery. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday. Condolences may be expressed to the family at


Betty Stevens

PROCTORVILLE — Betty Lou Davis Stevens, 72, of Proctorville, died Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Hall Funeral Home with Pastor Rob Jones and Pastor Lee Stanton. Burial will be in Spring Hill Cemetery. Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m. today. Condolences may be expressed to the family at

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