(Long-Time Volunteer For American Red Cross)
James A. (“Jim”) Spangler of Fort Myers, FL and previously of Clear Lake, IN passed on to Heaven on Sunday, January 28, 2024, after a long and remarkable battle with lung cancer, from complications that arose after hip-replacement surgery. He was 83 years old.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Susan (“Susie”) Vesey Spangler. He is survived by his son, James A. (“Jimbo”) Spangler, II and his wife Janet of Mount Pleasant, SC, and his daughter Amy J. Spangler Spegal and her husband Gregg of Fairland, IN; three grandchildren, Maren Spangler, Sarah Williams, and Olivia Williams; and two step-grandchildren, Megan Platt and Cameron Spegal; his sisters, Constance Wedler and her husband Dave of California, Rebecca (“Becki”) Spangler and her husband Peyton Bland of Ann Arbor, Michigan; his brother Stephen (“Steve”) Spangler and his wife Cindy of New Smyrna Beach, FL; and many, many special friends and extended relatives at Clear Lake, in Bryan and Maumee, Ohio, in Fort Myers, and around the globe.
Born in Toledo, Ohio September 27, 1940, to Alice Church Spangler and Albert Talbot Spangler, Jim was raised by his dad and his stepmother Mary Overholt Spangler in Maumee, OH.
Later he attended Hillsdale College and the University of Toledo. His career spanned many decades as a salesman mainly in the Tri-State area of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan; he had a way of talking to everyone that instantly made him their friend.
He remembered everyone he met and could tell you story after story about the antics of he and his friends throughout the years.
Jim loved sports—as a participant and as a spectator. He was an outstanding athlete in track and field, football, and tennis while at Maumee High School.
He attended the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, numerous Ohio State v. Michigan games, the Stanley Cup finals, the World Series, the US Track & Field Championships, and many professional golf tournaments.
One of his fondest memories (and great stories he’d tell) was when his grandfather Ernest pulled him out of class at Maumee H.S. (over the objections of his mother) to go see golf’s greats play at Inverness in the 1957 U.S. Open.
Jim was a “doer.” And he did it his way, right up to the end. From living on a boat with Susie for a decade travelling the ICW from Florida to Maine, piloting his single-engine Cessna 172RG, playing daily rounds of golf after retirement, and travelling the world from Easter Island to Ukraine, he was “on-the-go”.
He was a member of the popular 1950’s and ‘60’s musical group “The Deltones” during a short US tour in the Midwest.
Jim was never afraid of hard work or what life threw at him—push-mowing yards in the summer and shoveling snow well into his 70’s, donning waders, and chipping ice off the dock to take it out for the winter, building by hand the garage addition to the house on Round Lake for friends and family, and rebounding from multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy.
He enjoyed being “on the water”, enjoying recreation and living on or near rivers, lakes, and oceanic harbors all his life.
He supported water recreation and conservation causes and enjoyed watching kids learn to sail on the Caloosahatchee River.
In 2022 he famously rode out Hurricane Ian in his 24th floor condo in Fort Myers, only retreating a week later when his building was temporarily condemned because fire suppression pumps could not be started due to the weeks-long power outages. His doctors obeyed him, if not the other way around.
He will be remembered most by his family for having had a soft side and for being committed to his mission: He was devoted to making the lives of his wife, his kids, and their families better through his presence.
He will be especially missed by his granddaughters Sarah, Olivia, and Maren as their fun and loving Grandpa who always had time to connect with them.
His commitment to others didn’t stop with family: He was a long-time volunteer to the American Red Cross and many children’s causes (including helping Susie start and run two successful pre-schools in Indiana and Ohio) and was a Sponsor to over 20 people in AA programs in Indiana and Florida. He will be missed by every person he had contact with over his lifetime.
A life celebration of Jim will be coordinated by Jimbo and Amy at a future date at Clear Lake, Indiana.
They ask that friends and family consider honoring their dad through donations to Clear Lake (IN) Township Land Conservancy, the Edison Sailing Center in Fort Myers, or any local Alcoholics Anonymous Chapter.