Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Richard Coleman Spivey Jr., 78, embraced a deep appreciation of the arts and nature

Richard Coleman Spivey Jr.

UTICA, New York — Richard Coleman Spivey Jr., 78, passed from this world Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. He was born July 3, 1941, and was a native of Whiteville. He lived in Raleigh and spent the last 30-plus years of his life in area of Rome, New York.

He was preceded in death, by his second wife, Donna Russell Spivey; mother and father, Francis Rivenbark Spivey and Richard C. Spivey Sr., respectfully.

He is truly survived by a collage of wonderful caring people, both friends and family. Family survivors include Richard’s first wife, Sarah Eakins Spivey Ragan of Harrells, and their children R. Colman Spivey III of Raleigh, Christopher Spivey of Wilmington and Jonathan Spivey of Willow Spring. Surviving from his second marriage are Kayla Spivey of Utica, New York, and Ryan Spivey of Rochester, New York. Richard was blessed with grandchildren, Cole and Eliza Spivey of Raleigh and Germaine, Wyatt and Elliot Spivey of Rochester, New York.

Richard Jr. received an undergraduate degree in English from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and completed doctoral studies at Duke University. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

Richard Jr. was employed at the Office of Administration for Wake County Public Schools and served as the assistant superintendent of Nash County Schools.

Richard Jr. had many, but, at the same time, few passions. In the simplest terms, his passions were, the arts and nature. But when placed under the microscope, both worlds are large and consist of numerous headings and countless subcategories, all of which were made evident by his guiding hand. The arts of literature, visual, music, dance and theatre made Richard’s short list. He experienced nature by hunting, fishing, camping, and, in some instances, surviving in God’s great wilderness while partnered with Outward Bound Wilderness Schools.

Richard did not merely listen to music or the arts, but rather examined it. He was keenly aware the heartfelt things created by fellow mankind were unique, genuine, and, in some instances, fleeting. He sincerely knew there was a first time for many things in life, and first times could not be recreated or recaptured. Every second attempted to repeat the first experience was largely futile. He shared these first experiences with many. And some, he kept to himself.

He enjoyed every type of music from notables to obscurities. Classical, jazz and bluegrass seemed to consistently rise toward the top of the play list. They were a constant fixture in the places he called home and still play in the minds of those he surrounded, to this day. There is little doubt the love and appreciation of arts and music is still living and pulsing through all who called him husband, father or friend.

Richard Jr. spent much time in the woodlands and among nature’s greatest offerings. The call of ducks, a fish on the line, burning eyes from campfire smoke and the rare feelings of being small and lost in the great outdoors are forgotten gifts he sprinkled on the fabric that still hold his family.

Richard was bigger than life, but still a mortal. Capable of sincere compassion, love and all things. A complex and dynamic personality. He was always searching. And through life’s triumphs and struggles, now his search is over.

An excerpt from Richard’s favorite novel may complement him, reveal answers and still leave unanswered questions to the man we knew and the man we could never completely understand. “It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.” — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Arrangements by McGrath, Myslinski, Karboski & Nunn Funeral Directors, Utica, New York.

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