Obituary: Ronnie Cleburn Spears

January 5, 2022
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Ronnie Cleburn Spears passed away peacefully in his sleep on Jan. 1, 2022, at the age of 83. He was a resident at the James L. West Presbyterian Community in Forth Worth, Texas. Ron, Jim, Jimmy, Cotton, Bud, Dad, Daddy, Papa, and Pop-pop were names all lovingly used by members of his family. He was the kind of relative you hoped would come for a visit.

Ron grew up in Tahlequah, Okla., as one of 12 children in a large, blended and extended family.  Thomas and Delphia Spears raised Ron and their children on a farm in the beautiful, wooded, northeastern part of the state. In his late teen years, he moved to California and worked in the fields harvesting hay. There he met his future wife, Carolyn Sue Smith. Carolyn would go on to be both his first and his third wife.  They eloped to New Mexico, as teenagers and were married there.

Soon, Ron was the father of four children, Daniel Spears, who predeceased him, Sandra Trezza,(and John), Susan Blake (and Tim), and Timothy Spears (and Tammy). Ron and Carolyn were blessed with seven granddaughters, Carolyn Trezza, Jaclyn Trezza, Susan Usher, Jennifer Blake, Aly Blake-Powers, Meghan Blake, and Danielle Spears as well as a great-granddaughter, Evelyn Powers.

Ron served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam era and in his later years became very proud of his time spent in the service. He was happy to tell anyone that he was a war hero and enjoyed it when others thanked him for his service.  In addition to his job in the service, Ron often worked several jobs at a time, doing whatever needed to be done to provide for his family.

He was a proud business owner and was generous with his family. Ron's last and most successful business endeavor was to build a parking lot maintenance company.  His business grew through working hard, building relationships, and providing a high-quality product to his customers. Before his retirement, Ron sold the company to Tim who carries on the business.

When Ron retired, he returned to Oklahoma to build a log cabin on a piece of the original Spears family land in Tahlequah. Sadly the home Carolyn and Ron designed together would be built without Carolyn, who passed away in 2001. Ron married his fourth wife, Sherry, and later adopted her daughter, Lauren. Ron helped to care for Lauren's baby, Ander. Sherry passed in 2018. Ron continued to live in the Tahlequah cabin until 2019 when his health dictated that he move to Texas to live with and near his children, Susan and Tim.

Ron will forever be remembered for his ability to spin a yarn that would mesmerize a whole room full of people. He once said, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!" He and Carolyn were an amazing, storytelling, tag team. Their hilarious descriptions of everyday life would have everyone laughing so hard, you would cry. Ron will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.  His legacy is, of course, his family, and the tidbits of wisdom he delivered up with a big dimpled smile, a twinkle in his blue eyes, a huge dose of good comedic timing, and great humor. May he rest in God's peace.

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