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Stephen G. Spruill, 67, of Pleasant Hill, Missouri, was born Wednesday, May 20, 1942 in Glendale, California the son of Lee and Loretta (Link) Spruill and departed this life at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, 2010, at home after a long battle with cancer.
Steve was raised in Kansas City, and graduated from St. Peter Grade School, Rockhurst High School, and Rockhurst College, Class of 1963. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and was proud to become a Tin Can Sailor, serving in many parts of the world. He was a Vietnam veteran. He left the Navy with the rank of LTJG. Steve often spoke fondly of his time in the service of his country.
Steve entered the steel business and settled in Indianapolis where he met Cecily Holbrook, who became his wife in 1968. After transferring to California, they were blessed with two fine sons, Randall Patrick and Cameron Link. "R.P." and "Cam" were Steve's pride and joy. The marriage ended and Steve came home to Kansas City. He turned to the lawn and garden industry where he found peace working with his hands and the land in a rural setting. He met Sally Haake of Pleasant Hill and in 1981 they began their life together, tending horses, raising chickens, and planting a huge garden every year. Steve took pride in supplying family and friends with farm fresh eggs and whatever produce was in season. Steve enjoyed the rural life with Sally and being outdoors. He had a passion for dogs, having many. They were his constant companions and brought him much comfort, right to the end.
Throughout Steve's life there was generally some kind of two- or four- wheeled motorized rig in Steve's garage. A shovelhead Harley, a Solex motorbike, a Vespa scooter and a homemade go-cart powered by a Yamaha motorcycle engine were just a few of his toys. His sons and grandchildren greatly enjoyed flying around the farm on that go-cart!
In retirement, Steve returned to the joys of his youth and acquired all of the same models of motor scooters he had as a teenager, including a Cushman and two Mustangs. He delivered meals to the elderly for the Pleasant Hill Meals on Wheels and was very active with the Pleasant Hill VFW Post #3118. He helped establish the Veterans' Memorials at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery and in downtown Pleasant Hill. Steve was very proud of our men and women in uniform, past and present, and spoke of and prayed for them often. Always a voracious reader, he especially enjoyed historical and military accounts. Steve had definite opinions on many subjects and was always eager to share them with family, friends, and on the Letters page of The Kansas City Star.
Steve was a member of St. Bridget Catholic Church, the USS McCaffery Shipmates Assn., the Mustang Motorcycle Club of America, and VFW Post #3118, Pleasant Hill.
Steve will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, his step-mother Kay Westlund Spruill, and his brother-in-law Carl Schilling.
He is survived by his wife of 28 years Sally of the home; his sons R.P. Spruill and Amy of Great Falls, Virginia and Cam Spruill and Libby of Fishers, Indiana; sisters Frances S. Schilling, Lorelee Dalton and Jim of Shawnee Mission, Kansas; a brother Stanton D. Spruill and Susan of Lee's Summit, Missouri; grandchildren Abigail, Annabelle, Leila, Zachary, and Grace; a host of nieces, nephews and cousins; and his beloved dogs Molly, Fred, and Sandy.
Sally and the family would like to very much thank Kansas City Hospice for their tender care.
A mass of Christian burial was held Friday, January 22, 2010 at St. Bridget Catholic Church, Pleasant Hill. Monsignor Robert Murphy officiated. Interment was in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery with full military graveside honors by the VFW Post #3118 Honor Guard. Casket bearers were Ron Beatty, Robert Crawford, David Hamilton, Jerrall Hayes, Chris Hummel, Mike Ingram, Jim Lotspeich and Junior Ross.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Pleasant Hill Meals on Wheels or VFW Post #3118, Pleasant Hill and may be sent in care of the funeral home.
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