Byron P. Spears, aka Slip, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather took off into the “wild blue yonder” on April 8, 2018. He was born to Jess and Seymour Spears in Little Rock, AR, and spent his early years in Louisville, KY. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Oklahoma. Slip was employed by E. I. DuPont and then called into service in the Army Infantry one month after Pearl Harbor. He served as Squadron Commander flying B-25’s in the European Theatre in 1944. After the war, Slip served in Hawaii as PIO, and then with the 81st Fighter Wing flying P-47, P-80, and F-86 aircraft. He served one year in Vietnam as Squadron Commander, flying RF-101s (over 150 combat missions) and received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Silver Star.
Carolyn Dean Losee accepted Slip’s proposal on their first date in January 1946. Their retirement years were spent in travel and enjoying time with family and friends. Slip was a life member of the Order of Daedalians, MOAA, and Sigma Chi.
Slip is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and their loving children, Byron Jr. (Nieske), Candra, and James (Suzanne), grandchildren Elizabeth Boland (Lane), Jesse Spears (Louise), Sara Spears, Victoria Spears, Jonathan Spears (Alicia), Chrystal Lenardson and Chris Kerr, five great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.
A gathering to celebrate Slip will be held on Friday, April 13th from 4 to 6pm at Emerald Coast Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to VITAS Hospice.