Spaeth Jr., William Phillip "Bill"
July 10, 1928 - July 20, 2017
William Phillip Spaeth, Jr. was born on July 10, 1928. At the age of 89, he crossed the River Jordan to the Promised Land on July 20, 2017. Bill was born and raised in Dallas, the only child of Jewel Baugh and William Phillip Spaeth, Sr. Bill was raised by his devoted and loving grandparents, Ferdinand and Wilhelmina Spaeth. Bill met and married the love of his life, Jo Mankins, after a two month courtship; they were married 69 years.
Bill worked in the family business, Spaeth Machine Shop, and assumed complete control after the death of his father. He came from a long line of inventors, engineers and machinists. Even though he left school in the 11th grade, his life experience in the family business prepared him to work in the engine room of a Naval Tanker while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Bill is credited with many accomplishments that not only have gone worldwide, but even to the Moon; he invented a machine for NASA that applied glue to the first spaceship. His grandfather, Ferdinand, invented the first Coca-Cola dispenser; his father invented the first S & H Green Stamp machine; and Bill invented an improved scale level blood draw that was sold all over the world. Bill built some the first stainless steel drill combinations for medical bones as well some of the first prototype stainless steel knee caps. He also designed, patented and built the first “Speedy Bolt”. He installed the first refrigeration chiller in Dallas at the Majestic Theater, and was the first person to utilize helicopters to remove and install equipment on the tops of Dallas’ high rise buildings. Bill’s children loved his connection to Six Flags — he maintained and repaired Six Flags’ rides for opening day. Another Spaeth Family claim to fame is the mass production of the corny dog machine!
Bill worked on the first electric reels for deep sea fishing, as well as kept steam engines on the train at Fair Park running for many years. He had been president and a member of the National Association of Power Engineers; he also belonged to Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA); the Knights of Colombus, Civitan; and the Chambers of Commerce of Dallas and Irving. Bill was good at many things, but his best creations were with his beloved wife, Jo, with the addition of their seven children: Sherri Clark, Kathleen Carrigan, Billy Spaeth, Mark Spaeth, Elaine Curtis, Charlotte Garland and Betsy Spaeth. Each child is uniquely different, gifted and accomplished. Bill has 18 grandchildren and 30+ great grandchildren.
Bill loved horses, and was one of the oldest thoroughbred race horse owners in the country. He was the last person to ride his horse to his beloved school, Jesuit-Dallas. How appropriate that his middle name,Phillip, means “Lover of Horses”! Bill was a strong Catholic man who went to Mass every morning and prayed the Rosary every day. Our only comfort in losing him is that we know where he is and with whom! We give the Glory to God for his strong faith.
Services will be held at St Monica Catholic Church, 9933 Midway Road., Dallas, Texas 75220, on Friday, July 28, 2017. A Viewing will be held at 10:00 am, the Rosary and Funeral Mass will follow thereafter at 10:30 am and 11:00 am, respectively.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to St. Monica Catholic Church.
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