Rev R. Charles “Chuck” Spivey Jr.
Born at home in Jacksboro, TX on August 25th, 1930 to Robert and Ruth Spivey and welcomed into God’s embrace on January 8th, 2020.
In his early years, Chuck’s family moved to Iowa City, IA, where his father obtained his PhD from the University of Iowa. Family summers were spent living in Yellowstone National Park where his father worked as a park ranger. Yellowstone is where Chuck’s love of the outdoors began. He would spend days at the fishing bridge helping fishermen by telling them how to catch “The Big One.”
While in middle school, Chuck and his family moved to Midland, TX, where his father worked for Shell Oil Co. Chuck attended Midland High School and while in school, he worked at a door company. Part of the job required using the delivery truck to do deliveries, but Chuck was too young to get his driver’s license. His father was able to get him a waiver and he received his license at 15. He then taught himself to drive a delivery truck, learning to brake with his left foot. For the rest of his life, he couldn’t see the value of right-foot braking, so he used his left foot!
Chuck finished school and graduated from Midland High School, leaving shortly thereafter for Rice University. Chuck’s departure for college came at a time when his brother, Gary, who was 13 years his junior was very young, so they did not get to spend a lot of time together, though they were able to spend time together in later years.
At Rice University, Chuck pursued a dual degree in Architectural Engineering and History and eventually majored in History. Chuck was a history buff, with a special affinity for American history, particularly between 1820 and 1870, from the fur trappers to the end of the Civil War. He had a strong interest in the history of the American Indians and the Chaco Canyon. Though he loved History, while at Rice University, Chuck found his true calling when he was called to ministry.
From the moment of his calling, he was committed to serving our Lord and spreading the word of God. He graduated from Rice and enrolled in Princeton Theological Seminary where he began his work toward a Master’s in Theology. He also joined the Princeton Seminary Choir and began road trips with them to many towns where families of the church would sponsor their lodging so they could sing in the church to spread the Word. Chuck loved touring with the choir and took the opportunity to meet many families and continue learning more about history by going to every museum in each town he traveled through.
It was on one such choir trip to sing at a church in Birmingham, AL, where Chuck was sponsored by the Crum family that, at first sight, he fell in love with his soulmate, Barbara Crum. They began a courtship and were married on June 25th, 1953. Barbara moved with Chuck to Princeton, NJ while he completed his schooling. Chuck was ordained in the Presbyterian Church and was called to be a pastor; he began his ministry with a church in New Jersey.
In 1954, Barbara and Chuck had their first child, Dan, in New Jersey. In 1955, Chuck was assigned to Belair Presbyterian Church in Houston, TX. The family once again expanded with their second son, Allan, in 1956. Chuck was then assigned to the First Presbyterian Church in Snyder, TX, where their last three children were born: Randy in 1958, and twins Suanne and Steven in 1962.
Soon after the twins were born in 1962, Chuck was afforded the privilege of being the founding pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, KS. The family moved to Kansas where Chuck went door-to-door, inviting people to become parishioners at a new church. The first service, which was at the Katherine Carpenter Elementary School, had over 100 potential church members at it…and it grew from there.
Chuck used his architectural background to design the original church building. Services continued to be held at the elementary school while the original church building was erected. Later, an addition was called for as the congregation grew. Chuck once again used his architectural background to design an addition, making the church into the structure it is today.
Chuck faithfully led the Knox Presbyterian Church and worked tirelessly with Barbara at his side to minister to the congregation and spread the teachings of the Lord. In 1992, after 31 years serving the Church, he retired.
Chuck and Barbara hit the road in 1993 in their 5th wheel trailer, traveling and exploring this vast country. In retirement, Chuck was able to spend uninterrupted time with his beloved Barbara and enjoy spending every last moment together. He was also able to embrace his love of nature while on the road. He enjoyed fishing, camping, walking amongst trees in the forest, stopping to enjoy the daffodils, and listening to the creeks run while he toured the country. Chuck also made sure to stop at any museum he and Barbara found in the towns they toured, feeding his love of history and joy of life-long learning. Throughout his life, Chuck was a prolific painter, following in his mother’s footsteps. Once he retired, he pursued a hobby of making stained glass and he became known for the beautiful gifts he would make and give to Barbara, their friends, children, grandchildren, and his brother.
In 2005, Chuck and Barbara decided to settle down and found a peaceful setting in Harlingen, TX. Chuck became a Parish Associate at Treasure Hills Presbyterian Church in Harlingen. He worked closely with the pastor there, Charlie Palmer, who became one of his closest friends.
In 2017, Barbara passed away and Chuck decided to move back to the Kansas City area to be closer to his family. Here, Chuck lived with his daughter for over two years until his recent passing.
Chuck is survived by his 5 children, 13 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and his brother and sister-in-law. Visitation to celebrate Chuck’s life will be at 11 am on Saturday, January 18th, at Knox United Presbyterian Church located at 9595 w 95th Street, Overland Park, KS. A memorial service and burial will immediately follow.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to The Chuck and Barbara Spivey Memorial Fund at Treasure Hills Presbyterian Church, 2120 Ed Carey Dr, Harlingen, TX, 78550 OR donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/chuck-and-barbara-spivey-memorial
You are invited to sign the guestbook or share a memory at www.johnsoncountychapel.com.