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Byron Spear Jr., 1924-2019

Funeral services for Byron Glenn Spear Jr., 95, of Albert Lea will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Theodore Catholic Church in Albert Lea. The Rev. Kurt Farrell will officiate. Interment will be in St. Theodore Cemetery. Military honors will be accorded by Albert Lea veterans organizations. Visitation is one hour prior to the service at the church. Bonnerup Funeral Service is assisting the family.

Byron Glenn Spear Jr. was born Jan. 13, 1924, in Cherokee, Iowa, son of Byron and Nina (Berg) Spear. When Byron was two 2 years old, his parents moved to Sioux City, Iowa, where he spent the remainder of his childhood.

Byron Spears Jr.

In January 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, remaining in the reserves and retiring as a major in the 1970s. Byron pursued bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics with a minor in engineering at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. While in college, he was president of the Engineer’s Club, Gamma Iota Alpha fraternity, Sigma Pi Sigma — physics honor society, and of his graduating class.

While in Sioux City, Byron met Ruth Heimerman from Stacyville, Iowa, who he married on Aug. 25, 1951. Shortly afterward, they moved to Oregon, where he worked as a construction engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers.

Byron and Ruth returned to the Midwest, where he attended Iowa State University and pursued education. He taught high school math in Eldora, Iowa, and Albert Lea. Byron received a master’s degree in mathematics from Mankato State University, was president of Southern Minnesota Teachers Association and wrote curriculum for the Minnesota State Education Department. He retired from Albert Lea Public Schools in 1984.

During his time in Albert Lea, Byron was active in the Kiwanis Golden K-1, American Legion, Toastmasters Club, the Elks, the MEA and the NEA organizations. An active member of St. Theodore Catholic Church, he served as president of the church council, co-leader of St. Theodore’s prayer group, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, confirmation teacher and also participated actively in Legion of Mary, C.F.M., Teams of Our Lady and Marian Rosary groups.

Byron liked to play chess, bridge and golf; other interests included oil painting, sculpturing, reading, gardening and traveling. He was a kind, generous and devout Christian, who loved to share his quick-witted humor, especially his puns. His welcoming and engaging personality impacted the lives of those he encountered. Blessed be his memory.

Byron is survived by his wife, Ruth, of 68 years; his daughters Mary Ann (George) Rindelaub, Rebecca (Chad) Grose and Julie (Jay) Ostergaard; seven grandchildren, Michael (Winnie) Rindelaub, Joel Rindelaub, Stephen (Shelby) Rindelaub, Matthew Grose, Lauren Grose, David Ostergaard and Kirsten Ostergaard (Danny) Cuppy; great-grandchildren Derek (Grose) Rossow, Adelyn Grose and Jameson Cuppy; two sisters Donna Turner and Norma Gwinn; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorials suggested to Catholic Charities or The Salvation Army in Albert Lea.