Carl Phillip Spier died peacefully at home in Brewster, Mass., on Jan. 26, 2014 three months shy of his 91st birthday.
Carl was a generous and unassuming man who loved his family, his alma mater, Antioch College, and former community of Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he had lived for most of his life. His adored wife of 67 years, Paula, died in 2011.
He is survived by his son, Peter Spier, daughter-in-law, Gail Turner and granddaughter, Jessica Turner Spier, all of Brewster, and his daughter, Carol Spier, and son-in-law, Richard Cullen, of Bethlehem, Connecticut.
He is also survived by his cousins, Robert Spier, of St. Louis, and Alice Lebel, of Newington, Conn., and his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ellen and Leonard Farwell, of Richmond, California and Brewster, as well as by ten nieces and nephews.
His brother Samuel “Peter” Spier and his wife Beatriz predeceased him, as did his brother-in-law Richard Lazarus.
Carl was born in 1923 in New York City to Percival and Beatrice Cohen Spier, and grew up in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx.
He met Paula, née Lazarus, while both were freshmen at Antioch College; they married in 1944 when he was drafted.
During World War II, Carl was trained in electrical engineering by the Army; the war ended before he saw active service.
He completed his Antioch degree after the war and then worked as a mechanical engineer at Standard Register in Dayton, Ohio and at the Morris Bean Company in Yellow Springs, Ohio and at Systems Research Laboratories in Dayton.
A perfectionist by nature, Carl enjoyed fixing anything that broke.
Some of his happiest days were spent with Don Friessen at F and F Auto Service, seeing to it that whatever was wrong with his car was remedied.
Later, after retiring, he operated an informal appliance-repair service, where he was generous with his expertise, time, and advice.
A man of many contradictions, he was cautious and prudent yet loved the financial markets; he was very curious and a first-class consumer of “the news,” yet he rarely ventured more than 20 miles from home.
He loved the New York Giants (even after they moved to San Francisco), and regularly went to Cincinnati to see them play the Reds; he avidly watched sports on television, but otherwise had no athletic inclinations.
He had a night-owl’s solitary habits, but was thrilled to be visited by friends or invited out to dinner.
He and Paula were dedicated supporters of environmental preservation, yet neither spent much time outdoors.
Carl loved accuracy and intellectual honesty, puns, puzzles, brainteasers, flowers and Paula’s famous homemade cookies and hand-knit sweaters.
He was deeply saddened to outlive his wife and most of his friends, but was otherwise remarkable for living life on his own terms, exactly as he wished to.
Notes of comfort and sympathy may be made to his family at www.MorrisOConnorBlute.com
From the Cape Cod Times:
BREWSTER, MA — Paula Lazarus Spier succumbed to the grip of Parkinson's disease on October 4, 2011, in Brewster.
A dean Emerita of Antioch International, crossword puzzle whiz, genealogy buff, covered-bridge lover, avid knitter, and expert seamstress, she was 88.
Carl Spier '47, a graduate of Antioch and her husband of 67 years, survives her, as do her son, Peter, daughter-in-law, Gail Turner, and granddaughter, Jessica Turner Spier, all of Brewster, and her daughter, Carol Spier '72, and son-in-law, Richard Cullen, of Bethlehem, CT. She is survived also by her sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and Leonard Farwell, of Richmond, CA, and Brewster, as well as by ten nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her brother, Richard Lazarus.
Paula was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on August 12, 1923, to William and Frieda Lazarus.
She grew up in Crestwood, N.Y., summering with her family in Mashpee, on Cape Cod.
She met Carl in 1941 when both were freshman at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where they made their home from 1951 until 1999, when they relocated to Brewster, on Cape Cod.
She held a bachelor's degree in personnel administration from Antioch College and a master's degree in counseling psychology from Ohio State University.
A distinguished member of the international education community, Paula enjoyed a long career at Antioch College, beginning in 1957 as associate at Antioch Education Abroad, advancing to become director of Student Programs, and then dean, at Antioch International.
Choosing semi-retirement in 1981, she remained at Antioch International as academic dean until 1985.
Throughout her career and well into retirement, she was active in NAFSA (National Association of Foreign Student Affairs): Association of International Educators, CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange), Great Lakes College Association, and other educational groups, serving on boards and committees, participating in many conferences of her peers, and consulting for other institutions of higher education on the benefits, development, and administration of international studies programs.
In 1981, she was one of a small group of scholars traveling to Germany on the Fulbright U.S. Teacher Exchange Program.
Antioch granted her an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2004.
She was honored by CIEE and NAFSA, and listed in Who's Who in Education, Who's Who in American Women, and Who's Who in America.
To her friends and family, Paula was admired for balancing professional, community, and personal life at a time when it wasn't so common to do so.
She was a longtime member of the Yellow Springs Historical Society, Library Association, and League of Women Voters, and in retirement on the Cape, a volunteer at the Brewster Ladies' Library and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.
Paula was celebrated for the astonishing array of cookies she baked every holiday season, her fascination with the relaxing craft of knitting, her passion for mystery novels, her total lack of interest in physical exercise, her endless curiosity about life in other places and her love of travel, the speed with which she could type sans error, the treasure-trove of family history she compiled, and the discipline that enabled her to accomplish nearly everything she aspired to do.
Notes of sympathy and comfort may be made to her family at: www.MorrisOConnorBlute.com