Dick Springler 1918-2017
Richard H. “Dick” Spingler, 99, died Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, at Presbyterian Manor of Topeka.
He was born June 4, 1918, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of Harry and Margarita Spingler. He graduated in 1937 from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, attended New York City University and earned his pilot’s license in 1940.
Mr. Spingler was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force prior to Pearl Harbor. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he returned to the United States and completed his pilot training, flying 53 missions as a B-25 pilot in African, Italian and Aegean Sea Campaigns of World War II.
He received the European Theater of Operations medal, a pre-Pearl Harbor Medal, several Air Medals, and a Presidential Citation from President Franklin Roosevelt. He received the Hellenic Commemorative Medal and Certificate from the Hellenic Republic in appreciation of his participation in the defeat of Germans in Greece. He was also stationed at Marshall Field, Fort Riley, continued in the Air Force Reserves in the 1950s and 1960s and retired from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel after 28 years of service.
Following his discharge from active duty in 1948, he worked for several auto dealerships before acquiring the Buick agency in Holton, where the family lived in the 1950s. They moved to Topeka in 1960 and he worked as a State Farm agent for 27 years. Following his retirement from State Farm, he worked in property management for Ralph Lewis Enterprises for 12 years.
Mr. Spingler was a former member of the Holton Rotary Club, a past-president and life member of the Southwest Optimist Club, vice president and skeet director of Capital City Gun Club and a member of the Kansas State Skeet Shooters Association, receiving their Friend of Skeet Award in 1995. He was a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Holton.
He married Nedra Way at Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 1944. She survives.
Other survivors include a son, Richard Jr. and wife Charlene, Florence, Ky.; a stepgranddaughter, Angela Woltz, Kansas City, Mo.; two granddaughters, Melanie Miner, husband Greg and sons Luke and Finn, Maineville, Ohio, and Rylan Bender, husband Nick, son Barron and daughter Baylor, Union, Ky.; a nephew, David Woltz, Oketo, Wisc.; and a niece, Diane Woltz, Bellvue, Wash. He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Audrey Woltz, and her husband Harry.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7 at Mercer Funeral Home in Holton. Burial with full military honors will follow in Holton Cemetery. Family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Presbyterian Manor, sent in care of Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436.