Robert William Spath II, age 77 of Spokane, WA passed away on January 6, 2021 of complications arising from acute pancreatitis at Sacred Heart Hospital. He was born in Rolla, MO on June 19, 1943 to Robert and Edith Spath. Bob graduated from Fayetteville, WV High School in 1961 and received a Bachelor’s in Information Technology at the University of Phoenix. He enlisted in the US Army and proudly served from 1961 – 1966. He married Marilyn Sue King on September 20, 1964 in Colorado Springs, CO and together they raised two children and enjoyed 56 years of marriage together. Bob worked a career in Real Estate and Life Insurance, held a role as a Customer Service Representative and also owned Bob Spath’s Nature Photography. He was a member of various churches in Colorado Springs, Portland and Spokane, currently a member of the South Hill Bible Church here in Spokane.
Bob Spath was, above all else, a faithful & loving husband & father of his wife and two girls. His girls grew up with the knowledge and peace that he loved his wife and remained faithful to her for 56 years. This gave them the confidence to grow into the women they became today. Bob and Sue’s love story began while he was stationed at Fort Carson, in Colorado Springs. They met at First Presbyterian Church, in the Singles Group. Dad knew then, that he had met the women of his dreams, who lived in the most beautiful place on earth. They married and established their family in Colorado Springs, for the next 47 years. These lasts years, Bob and Sue lived in Spokane, WA where both their daughters and most of the their other family members reside. It has been a gift to have Bob and Sue here, drawing all of us close together once again.
Bob’s love for Colorado, which he labeled 'Gods Country’, was captured in every painting and photograph he took. Really - looking back, his love of nature filled most of the memories his family has of him! Camping and hiking all over Colorado growing up, there was always a camera in his hands! A walk or hike could not be taken without out him stopping to capture some flower or small wonder. As our families grew with spouses, children and grandchildren (plus one great grandchild) he would insist on taking a family photo around the table, before we could eat. We all complained, but now we are so very grateful he insisted on doing so. Eventually, his love of photography, which began from his father's tutelage as a boy, grew into a side business, called Bob Spath’s Nature Photography. He created five gorgeous DVDs and a beautiful book showcasing the grandeur of Colorado, working with known composer and musician Steve Haun for the original score. The Parks & Recreation Department offered to sell his DVDs at chosen tourist spots, throughout Colorado. We were so proud of him for accomplishing this dream of his.
Next to nature, his greatest love was reserved for his family and God. He would always make it home for dinner with us no matter what business was pending. He would say, “A family that eats together stays together!” The dinner hour was nearly sacred, with mom's divine cooking and our joyful regaling of the day’s events, that made you want to stay awhile. We always gave thanks to God for our blessings, before eating.
Attending church, at the least on Sundays was also sacred. Our parents raised us as Christians, celebrating Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Dad had a quiet Faith, but one never doubted where he stood with God. Throughout Dad's life, it was very reassuring to see him grow in his faith. Looking back over our lives, we can see our parents making untold sacrifices for us, going to great lengths to help ease the burdens and trials we both had to endure. They were always THERE, period!
Dad had another great talent: FIXING THINGS! There was nothing he couldn't fix - broken jewelry, cars, electronics, appliances, and technology. You name it, he fixed it! Once married, us daughters soon realized what a handy talent that was. Dad gave freely to anyone who needed help! We know he spent hours upon hours and most of his free time, just working on other people's cars. Dad was outgoing, in the way of helping people, excelling in Sales in his middle years and Customer Service jobs during his later years. He could make a total stranger feel like the friendliest next door neighbor, always finding that point of connection. He was a peacemaker with his family, mending any broken fences along our way.
As the development of the internet and technology took over the world, Dad kept up. He was the first person our entire family went to for help. He made sure all of us had working smart phones. He wanted us to be connected, even with us living scattered all over the western US and Canada.
Our Dad had a love for music early on, that led him to play trumpet growing up and into adulthood. He loved all kinds of music from classical to folk, from the 50's through the 80s, including Christian praise and worship songs. There was always music filling our home and cars too. We remember waking up many Saturday mornings to Beethoven’s 5th symphony. Sundays, came with up-lifting Praise Songs. We remember his vast library, containing every genre of music on reel to reel, records, tapes and discs. He gave us an ear for quality music, that has endured to this day. We also remember listening and singing to John Denver's (Rocky Mountain High and Annie’s Song in Colorado) over drives up Independence Pass into Aspen. We openly speculated if we might catch a glimpse and run into John Denver himself, as he lived there in Aspen.
The memories just wash over us as our tears fall. Our Dad, Our Hero. Our sorrow fades, as we think of our Dad in heaven without pain. We are filled with visions of Dad stopping along a solid gold pathway, to take in the un-real HD view of impossible mountains and fields of vivid flowers. We can see him reaching for his camera to take pictures, but his angel hastens him on to bigger and better vistas ahead. Bôn Voyage Dad! We love & miss you so much!
Bob is preceded in death by both his parents. He leaves behind his wife, Marilyn Sue Spath, his two children, Cheryl Lynn Fox and Tara Sue Daehn (Mark). He also leaves behind five grandchildren, Zachariah Daehn (Melissa), Nehemiah Daehn (Kellyane), Jeremiah Daehn, Bonne Joy Fox, Abigail Sue Fox and great granddaughter, Ainsley Rose Daehn as well as his brother Michael Spath.
A Graveside Interment Service with Military Honors will be held at the Washington State Veteran’s Cemetery in Medical Lake, later this summer. Please check back for time and date. If you wish to join Bob’s family at his service, please feel free to reach out to Marilyn at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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