LeRoy Freeman Spear, Jr., 94, of Simsbury, husband of the late Ilsa (Chapin) Spear, died Saturday, May 9, 2020 at River Ridge of Avon. He was born August 28, 1925 in Norwood, MA, son of the late LeRoy Freeman Spear, Sr. and Lida (Phaneuf) Spear. He grew up in Walpole, MA and always delighted in others noticing remnants of his Boston accent. During high school, Roy was a trombonist in several orchestras including the Massachusetts Symphonic Orchestra in Boston, MA. At 18 years, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and was honorably discharged as a Flying Officer of Bombardier B-17's and B-29's. Following the end of WWII, he married the love of his life Ilsa Chapin and inspired by her, completed his undergraduate degree at Springfield College. They moved to Westchester County where they both were educators. Roy earned his MA in Education from Columbia University. He coached high school basketball at Greeley High School in Chappaqua, NY winning 5 championship seasons, one undefeated. In 1957, Roy and Ilsa moved to Simsbury. He was the first Basketball Coach for the University of Hartford and later, Athletic Director. Having a lifelong love for camping beginning in his youth at Beaman Pond in Massachusetts, he founded and directed Woodbrook Camp for Boys in Fitzwilliam, NH and later, Sugarbrook Sports Camps in Brownsville, VT. Roy was a member of First Church of Christ, Simsbury, Valley Masonic Lodge, the USPTA and USTA, a Charter member of Hopmeadow Country Club in Simsbury; also a member of Hartford Tennis Club and Hopbrook Tennis. Roy loved playing tennis in Senior tournaments in New England and Southern Florida, and especially enjoyed winters on Marco Island. He held great pride for the Town of Simsbury, its beauty and all it offers. He derived great pleasure from playing cribbage every Tuesday at the Simsbury Senior Center. He was an avid New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox fan; he enjoyed reading, attending jazz concerts and in later years, gardening. Roy was an energetic and loving man with a lifelong belief that education opened the doors for opportunity.
He is survived by his son, Marcel Monfort and his wife Elsy of Falls Church, VA; his daughter, Heather Spear Jutras and her husband Peter of Canton; grandchildren, Natalya Espinoza and her husband Daniel of Falls Church, VA, Erika Lozano and her husband Joseph of Dumfries, VA and Peter Z. Jutras, III and his significant other Abbey Clark-Moschella of Middletown and his great grandchildren, Nathaniel and Samantha Espinoza and Conner, Bryn and Orion Lozano.
The family wishes to express their deep gratitude to Mrs. Holly Neddermann, Mind and Memory Director at River Ridge, his primary caretakers, Ms.Simone Morrison and Mr. Gregory Ellis who provided exceptional care and meaningful relationships over the past 2 years. Also, appreciation to Seasons Hospice, especially Joie B.Reeves RN who offered clinical care and comfort during Roy’s last month of life.
Services are planned for this summer and will be announced at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Springfield College, 263 Alden Street, Springfield, MA 01109 or to the Alzheimer's Association, 200 Executive Blvd S #4b, Southington, CT 06489. The Vincent Funeral Home of Simsbury is caring for the arrangements. Please visit Roy’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.