In Loving Memory
My father Bill Spicer (1918-1987) was born in Ejerie, WV to Andrew Harvey and Mary Ann (Robinson) Spicer.
He was raised at McComas, WV. Bill sadly lost his beloved mother Mary Ann when he was only 11 years
old. His oldest sister Victoria who was married to Harry Odle was his substitute mother the remaining years of his life.
She was an extremely kind and generous person who always shared her love and home with him. I know he loved
her dearly as everyone else who knew her did. |
In 1941 he met Helen Huffman at a Weiner Roast at the Fire Tower on Arista Mountain (near Herndon). Bill joined the U.S. Army shortly after that. On December 8, 1941 he shipped out of San Francisco, CA on a troop ship for Oahu, Hawaii. The trip took 7 days. He was to perform guard duty in an observation tower that sat on the parameter of Hickam Field and Pearl Harbor. He would later train at Schofields Barracks with other new recruits. One training exercise consisted of climbing the mountainside which consisted of volcanic rock. Hundreds of troops would ascend the narrow mountain trails in a single formation. Many times one troop would become afraid and "freeze in position". If it were raining the trails were slippery. It was hazardous maneuvering to get around that person.
Bill and Helen corresponded throughout the years he served in Hawaii and in the various Pacific Area Campaign. He fell victim to Maleria running an extremely high fever for almost a week. He spend many months in an Army Hospital in San Francisco during 1944 and 1945. When returning to McComas after World War II ended he married Helen in May 1945. She graduated from McComas High School in 1943 and worked at the Martin Bomber Plant in Baltimore, Maryland for several years. They both continued to live and work in the Baltimore area for a short time. I believe homesickness overcame both of them and they returned to live and work at Thomas/McComas, WV. Both Helen and Bill were very devoted to their siblings and family. Their first child Patricia Susan (Patty) Spicer(me) was born in September 1946. A second child was born 3 years later on July 20, 1949 - William Dorin "Mickey" Spicer Jr. Bill was a WV Coal Miner all his life. He worked at Thomas, Lamar (owned by Thomas Coal & Coke), Tralee, and Gary over the years. His beloved wife Helen was stricken with cancer in 1955 and died after unsuccessfully battling it on July 9, 1957. His only son Mickey graduated from Bramwell High School in 1968. He had proudly served as a member of Bramwell High Schools 1967 Undefeated WV All State Basketball Championship Team. Mickey joined the U.S. Air Force in 1968 and died from an accident March 8, 1970 while serving at Osan AB, Korea.
In 1979 Bill suffered a stroke that left him partially paralized on his left side and he suffered partial speech loss. He lived another 8 years but was in and out of the Veterans Hospital at Salem, VA quite frequently. He died peacefully in his sleep on November 17, 1987 while in a nursing home in Millersville, Maryland where he was living to be near his ownly surviving child Patty that last year of his life. Although his speech was slurred and his memory was failing he always loved to talk and could express the words well about the earlier days of his life and all his friends in McComas. His Army days and his pride in them was always evident in the tales he would relate about those long ago experiences. He was happiest when discussing and remembering his "memories" of McComas. Bill was a kind man who loved children. He seemed to have lost much of his drive in life when he lost his wife and partner in 1957. I know he never fully recovered from that loss. Helen's parents Cora and Robert Huffman of McComas unselfishly raised Patty and Mickey with much devotion and love - but both children still loved their father dearly.
written by Patty "Spicer" Smith