John W. Spear, 81, died unexpectedly at his home Saturday, April 6, 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Born Oct. 10, 1931 at the home of his grandparents, he was the son of Willis and Madolin (Richards) Spear. John grew up in Thomaston but spent many summers with his family at “the camp” on Hawthorne’s Point in Cushing. When John and his sister, Louise were young, their mother loaded them in a boat at Bog Bridge on Megunticook Lake and rowed to his grandfather, Richard’s camp at Wiley’s Cove.

In 1949, he graduated from Thomaston High School and joined the U.S. Army serving until 1952 and was stationed in Korea. In 1955, he married the love of his life, Gail Wiley from Lincolnville. During their married years, they lived in Thomaston, Presque Isle, Machias, before settling in Glen Cove in 1964.

John and Gail enjoyed traveling and made trips to Alaska, California, Mississippi, Amish Country in Pennsylvania, Branson, Missouri and to the Florida Keys.

John worked for New England Telephone Company which later became Verizon from 1956 until 1986 when he retired. John was also a member of the Rockland Lion’s Club.

He will always be remembered for the smile on his face and his sense of humor. John’s favorite pastimes were fishing, hunting and camping with friends and family. Some of his favorite memories were of the annual fishing trips to Togue Pond with his longtime good friend, Boyd Bowden of Presque Isle and weekend boating trips to the islands of Penobscot Bay.

An avid reader, his other interests included watching the Boston Red Sox and golf on television, baking bread, going for walks on the Rockland boardwalk or on his treadmill. In recent years, he along with his brother, Willis and friends went golfing at Goose River Golf Course. John was a devoted husband and a loving father.

He was predeceased by his brother, Willis Spear. Surviving is his wife of 56 years, Gail Spear of Glen Cove; three sons, Russell Spear and his wife, Joanne of Rockport; Don Spear and his wife, Sharon of Hope; Steven Spear and his wife, Chanon of Dallas, Ga.; two sisters, Eva Cushman of Port Clyde; Louise Reynolds and her husband, Earl of Waldoboro; grandchildren, Amy Jordan of North Carolina; Kim Tahincioglu (Brandon) of Thomaston; Alysha Sequoyah (Brian) of Virginia; Leanna Spear of Camden; Krystal Troy, Steven Spear, both of California; Daniel Inabinett of Mississippi; Candice Spear, Christine Spear, both of Georgia; Brian Gunn, Ashley Gunn, both of Hope; great-grandchildren Caitlyn Clair of Virginia; Starla Petronsky of Camden; a sister-in-law, Jeannete Spear of Camden; and several nieces and nephews. John also leaves behind countless friends and wonderful neighbors.

The family would also like to thank the Bob Gagnon Cancer Care Center at Pen Bay and the Alfond Cancer Care Center in Augusta for their loving care and kindness.

Family and friends are invited to the Spear residence at 41 Warrenton St., Glen Cove on Saturday, April 13, from noon to 4 p.m. Memorial gifts may be made the Bob Gagnon Cancer Fund, c/o Pen Bay Healthcare, 22 White St., Rockland, ME 04841 or to the charity of one’s choice.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the Spear family by visiting their book of memories at longfuneralhomecamden.com. Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St. Camden.