1972 – 2019
Chris to the many who knew and loved him – was a “good soldier” in the full and varied sense of the term.
A good soldier, as usage allows, need not necessarily wear a uniform or bear arms. A good soldier, be it in rig or in mufti, earns that accolade by distinguished service to country, community and family, service defined by loyalty, devotion and sound judgment, a quality that at best embraces compassion.
That’s the kind of soldier that Chris Spearin was, in all aspects of his life, and in the eyes of all who knew him.
He was born April 25, 1972, in Windsor, Ont., to Judy (nee Newbold) and George Spearin. He died all too soon at age 47 on September 13, 2019, felled by a relentless cancer. Foremost among those he leaves behind are his mother, his loving wife Kelley and children Abigail, Matthew and Audrey. Also brother Kyle, though not, alas, brother Kevin who predeceased him, as did his father.
He set on a military career from the earliest, first in cadets and then in reserves. He worked his way up through the Windsor detachment of the CFRC reserve corps to officer candidate school to Royal Military College, from where he graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree and later, from Canadian Forces College with a Masters in Defence Studies.
His active service career spanned 27 years and four months. In that time he was an airborne Combat Systems Officer with the Royal Canadian Air force, flying in Sea King Helicopters and deployed with Royal Canadian Ships and other units domestically and abroad. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the course of a career that included numerous command distinctions, including service as Exchange Officer with the Royal Navy in Cornwall, U.K., a role in which his sterling professionalism and dedication made him an outstanding ambassador for Canada and the RCAF.
On a lighter side, he was an avid bagpiper who enthusiastically played with the 12 Wing Pipes and Drums, a service that enhanced the regard in which he was held by his comrades in arms.
Beyond his outstanding professional qualities, those he unstintingly displayed in private life made his deeply cherished by family and friends, Humble, caring, gentle, understanding and respectful of women are aspects commonly cited by those who knew him, along with an endearingly quirky sense of humour; to the end he even managed to crack wise about his cruel affliction.
The geographic and spiritual centre of his adult life was the civilian community of Chester, N.S., where he met Kelley , the love of his life, and saw the birth of his children, and where he maintained a home even as duty caused him to uproot to temporary quarters elsewhere. Chris was also an avid sailor.
There’s an old song that holds that “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away. In fact, all soldiers ultimately die, be it old or too young as was the case with our Chris. But good soldiers, as Chris was in exemplary fashion in all aspects of his life, do not just fade away in short order. He will vibrantly live in the memory of those who knew him for the exemplary being he was; in that of his friends and brothers in uniform.
And above all of his family and especially of his children. And hopefully their children, will be imbued with a knowledge and guiding appreciation of the qualities that made him an all-around good soldier. These further include parents-in-law Robyn McNicoll (Hubert Bauch) and Ronald Gratton (Patricia Pipon); sisters-in-law Paulette and Danielle; nephews Ryan, Aaron and Jack, and niece Molly. Also brother-in-law Tyler (Hillary Duncan and daughter Eleonore). Beyond that, many aunts, uncles, cousins and other in-laws.
Through them his wonderful spirit will live on as they recall him for the caring, loving and accomplished man he was in all aspects of his life.
Memorial service on
Thursday, October 10th, service at 11am at 423 (MH) Squadron Hangar, 12 Wing Shearwater. With reception to follow at 12pm at the Seaking club at Shearwater
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Spearin family may be made to : https://www.gofundme.com/f/hcz6m-spearin-family