William D. Spears of Pierre recently died after a long battle with old age. He was 91.
He was born Billy in Onida in 1928, to Aster and William B. Spears, and he was a little rapscallion from the get go. As the only boy with two sisters, he was allowed more latitude in his activities, which he used to his benefit, including a solo trip to Sioux Falls at the tender age of 12 to get a new pair of boots. His early years were spent in town, but he loved the farm where he raised pigs and learned valuable lessons about farming that he would use throughout his life.
After graduating from high school as Wink, he went to the University of South Dakota for his undergraduate degree, and then, after a brief stint in the military, to the Law School where he met Barbara Krumm. They subsequently eloped and were married in 1957 en route to South Dakota from Texas, where Barbara was a Resident in her Family Practice Program.
As William D. Spears, Esquire, he developed a successful law practice and land management business that allowed him to acquire farmland that he managed well into his eighties. Business and financial freedom were his main interests, and he was always reading the Wall Street Journal or some other financial magazine.
At the outset of his career, it was uncommon for a man to have a wife who worked, let alone make more money than her husband, but he embraced this reality with humor and grace. When someone would give him a hard time about his wife working, he would inevitable reply “ I don’t mind that she makes more money than me, I just wish she would spend a little bit of it”.
In his later years he became “Grandpa Josh”, as labeled by one of his grandchildren, after verbally running through a list of childhood names, incorrectly, before recalling his grandson’s name, which was not Josh. This new appellation didn’t phase him, and that is how they will remember him for the rest of their lives.
While he had a full vocabulary of swear words, and was salty up until the end, he was extremely kind to his family, and he will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his wife Barbara, who died earlier this year. He is survived by his son Samuel W. Spears and his daughter in law, Lisa A. Posey, along with grandchildren Zach, Hudson and Piper.