Earl Dennis Spatz, 95, Olivet: Dec. 20, 1926 – Nov. 30, 2022 – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Earl Dennis Spatz, 95, Olivet: Dec. 20, 1926 – Nov. 30, 2022

OLIVET, Kan. – Earl Dennis Spatz, 95, Topeka, Kan., passed away Nov. 30, 2022, at McCrite Plaza Health Center. Earl was born Dec. 20, 1926, to Wilson Althouse and Doris Mary (Williams) Spatz, at Lebo, Coffey County, Kan.

Earl graduated from Olivet High School in May 1944. He served in the United States Marine Corps from March 10, 1945, to Aug. 21, 1946. He graduated from Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kan., with a bachelor’s degree in May 1950.

Earl married Josephine Lorraine Thorne, June 3, 1951, at Lebo, and they celebrated 71 years of marriage. They have two daughters, Denise Diane and Cynthia Jo. Earl worked as an accountant and bookkeeper for several companies until September 1955, when he entered employment with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company. He retired from AT&SF as office manager of the communications department on Aug. 17, 1985.

Earl always had a project. He and family members built their retirement home in Olivet, Kan., and they moved into the home in April 1983. He and Josephine built a pole barn together at their house in Olivet after his retirement. He led the demolition of the Olivet School House and built back a community building on the land with the help of many Olivet townspeople. The community surprised him by naming the building after him. He was proud of the “Spatz Community Building.” When his grandkids became of age to move into their own homes, Earl helped them remodel the homes and along the way tried to teach them construction fundamentals and how to “do things right.” Having a project made him happy!

Earl served on the board of directors of Coffey County Rural Water District No. 3, Osage County Fire District No. 3, Olivet City Council, and Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 2.

Earl and Jo missed very few sports games and school events their grandkids were involved in. He often said that those years were the best years of his life. He was extremely proud of each of them and their accomplishments.

Earl was an example of a life well-lived, and his family will miss his advice on projects and life.

Earl is survived by his wife, Josephine; his two daughters, Denise (Mike) Garrett, Wakarusa, Kan., and Cindy Smith, Topeka; brother, Harlan Spatz, Overland Park, Kan.; five grandchildren, Brett (Cherie) Garrett, Jessica Zeller, Nicholas (Catherine) Smith, Emily (Tyler) Dieker, Kyle (Lindsay) Smith; and nine great-grandchildren, Brecken, Daxton, and Rhys Garrett, Hadley Zeller, Victoria and Benjamin Smith, Tessa and Colette Dieker, and Sawyer Smith.

Graveside service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Lincoln Cemetery, West Broadway Street and Emmer Road, Lebo. Friends are welcome to gather with the family immediately following services at the Spatz Community Building, 388 B Ave., Olivet.

Memorial contributions to support the maintenance of the Spatz Community Building can be sent in care of Jones VanArsdale Funeral Home, 107 W. Sixth St., Lebo, KS 66856. Condolences can be left at https://www.vanarsdalefs.com/.

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