Paul E. Spears died on Saturday August 11, 2012 at Penn State/Hershey Medical Center at the age of 88 after a heart attack and fall on his cherished mountain property.
Paul was born in Pittsburgh, and was raised in Reynoldsville, PA. He served as Staff Sergeant, Artillery in the US Army during World War II in Europe. He received his Bachelors of Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where his athletic abilities led to his induction in its Athletic Hall of Fame and to a Citation for Achievement as an outstanding alumnus in 1997.
Paul began his professional career as an accountant with the Lincoln-Mercury Division of the Ford Motor Company in Detroit. After moving to Hanover in 1953, Paul advanced to Senior Vice President and Treasurer of the Hanover Shoe, Inc.; and Vice President and Treasurer of Sheppard & Myers, Inc. He was President of Standardbred Horse Sales Company from 1968 to 1997, President of Hanover Shoe Farms from 1992 to 1997, and Chairman of Hanover Shoe Farms from 1998 to the present. He was President and Chairman of the ShepMyers Investment Company, former President of the Lawrence B Sheppard Foundation, former Director of the Hanover Shoe Farms Foundation, and a Director of the Haverford Trust Company.
Paul was a Director of the Hambletonian Society and the Little Brown Jug Society, and was an inductee to the Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame in 2011. He was a Trustee of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, Chairman of Standardbred Breeders Association of Pennsylvania, and past President of the Classic Series. He was past President and Chairman of the Pennsylvania Live Horse Racing Council, which secured exemptions for the Pennsylvania horse industry from the PA Sales and Use Tax. He was an accomplished amateur horsemen, winning the Billings Amateur Driving competition seven times, the $100,000 Nat Ray at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey at age 65 with his own Chadwick Hanover against professional drivers, and two International Amateur Driving competitions at the Meadowlands and Garden State Park. He was the first elected President of the Delvin Miller Amateur Drivers’ Association. With Peter Gerry, Paul was instrumental in salvaging the purse for the International March of Dimes Trot, won byand acknowledged by many to have been the most significant harness race of all time. Paul was co-breeder of 2004 trotting Triple Crown winner Windsong’s Legacy.
Paul was honored by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2005 for his record of achievement in and service to the PA Standardbred horse racing and breeding industry.
In his community, Paul was proud of his work in establishing the Hanover Area Family YMCA as a focal point for athletic and personal development for families in the Hanover and Littlestown area. He served as Chairman of the Hanover YMCA Board of Trustees from 1975 to the present. He was an avid fly fisherman who participated in Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Inc., a program for the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans.
Funeral arrangements will be handled by Wetzel’s Funeral Home in Hanover, PA. Funeral services will be at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Hanover, on Wednesday, August 15, at 11 AM. Visitation will be at the Church where the family will receive friends after 10 AM. Private internment for family members at the York Road Cemetery will follow a post-service reception at the Church. Contributions in Paul’s memory can be made to the Hanover Area Family YMCA, 500 North George Street, Hanover, PA 17331; or St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church Renovation Fund, 30 West Chestnut Street, Hanover, PA 17331.
Vivian G. Jewitt
Standardbred Horse Sales Company