Richard G. Spinelli, 78. Adams

ADAMS, NY —  Richard “Dick” Spinelli, loving husband and father of three children, passed away on Jan. 10, 2020, at age 78.

Born July 4, 1941, in Watertown, the son of Paul and Alberta (Eddy) Spinelli, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and taught for twenty eight years at South Jefferson Central School (SJCS).

On July 24, 1965 he married Georgette Rivers Spinelli. They raised two daughters, Kim and Sandra, and a son, Kevin.

While attending Immaculate Heart Academy, Dick earned the William Graf Athletic Award as outstanding senior athlete and he participated in the IHC marching band to become the school’s first drum major.

Upon graduation in 1959, he relocated to Maryland to be employed by Univac Computer Corporation at The Goddard Space Flight Center which was involved with the Apollo Mission. He taught for several years in Maryland before moving north where they built their home and raised a family in Adams, New York.

During Dick’s teaching career, he became active in both coaching SJCS girls varsity basketball team and officiating soccer. As SJCS Girls Varsity Basketball Coach, his teams won several Frontier League Titles, culminated by the success of his 1981 squad which won the Section 3 Title and reached the Final Four of the New York State Championship. He enjoyed a long run as an official with the Watertown Soccer Officials Association and became the Association’s President in 1979.

Upon retirement, Dick spent time laughing with his grandchildren, golfing at The Adams Golf Club and playing in The Dick Doe League at Highland Meadows. He and his wife spent winter months vacationing in Florida. He will be remembered for his quick wit, his story telling gift, and his compassion.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Alberta (Eddy) Spinelli and stepfather, Clifford Ostrom. He leaves his wife of 54 years, Georgette (Rivers) Spinelli, beloved son and daughters: Kevin Spinelli, Kimberly Spinelli and her husband, Joshua Hammond, Sandra Spinelli and his much loved grandchildren Adam and Amelia Caird, Ava and Mia Spinelli and Colden Delaney. He is survived by siblings and their spouses: Linda and Richard McNeely, Susan and John Condino, Rhonda and Randy Kellar, Jeffery Ostrum and his sister in law Virginia (Rivers) Pizzuta and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held 1:30 to 4 p.m. Jan. 18, 2020, at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 1330 Gotham Street Road, Watertown, NY, and will be followed by a Celebration of Life service. A reception will follow at Garland City Beer Works 321 Howk Street, Watertown, NY.

Donations may be made to Children’s Home of Jefferson County P.O. Box 6550, Watertown, NY 13601.

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