John David Spangler


John David Spangler, of Onancock, passed away on June 13.  Born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 21, 1928, David grew up in Memphis, Tennessee.  After graduation from the University of the South, Sewanee, he continued his studies at the University of Mississippi before leaving to join the Navy at the start of the Korean War.

In 1955, David left the military and moved to San Francisco where, through friends and a well-thought out afternoon tea prepared by David, he met the lovely British Mary Alice Thompson-Allen. Despite David’s elaborate tea preparations, Alice asked for coffee.

They married in 1957, and later that year, David joined the Foreign Service.  He served in Washington, D.C., the United Nations, Cambodia, and India.  Following his service in India, he left the Foreign Service and went to work for the Overseas Mission Society in Washington, D.C.

In 1964, still in Washington now with two children, David joined the staff of the Woodward Foundation, a small family foundation which provided support to needy students to ensure that they graduated from high school.  When the Foundation ended, David continued working for ambassador Stanley Woodward as his private secretary for the next 25 years, helping Woodward to establish Simeon Vineyards, now Jefferson Vineyards, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In 1990, David retired, and his wife, Alice, and he moved to Chincoteague, Virginia where he was active in Emmanuel Church, Jenkins Bridge. An avid reader, he was the first director of the Chincoteague Island Library Association which established the new island library.  David also enjoyed fishing, woodworking, clock and lighting repair, antiques, and learning to use computers. In 2013, the Spanglers moved to Onancock to be closer to family and friends where they joined Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

David was pre-deceased by his parents, George and Mary Lowry Spangler and a daughter, Sarah Rebecca.  He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Alice; his son, Nicholas, and his wife, Michelle, of Onancock; and his daughter, Elisabeth, and her husband, Reid Diggs, of Machipongo.  David is also survived by grandchildren, Paige and Lane Spangler, and James Haley; step grandchildren, Joshua and Patrick Luckenbach, their wives, Maddie and Alisa; step great grandson, Callum Luckenbach; brother-in-law, Nicholas Thompson-Allen, and his wife, Gail; a sister-in-law, Natalie Covell; and many beloved family members in England.

A funeral service will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Onancock, Virginia on Saturday, June 29 at 4:00.  The Reverend Frederick Willis will officiate, and a reception will follow in the parish hall.  In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully accepted by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in memory of Sarah Rebecca Spangler.  Funeral arrangements were made by Fox & Holston Funeral Home, Chincoteague.

“Peace Love Cheers” – David.

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