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1931 James E. Spooner 2023

James E. Spooner

January 3, 1931 — January 7, 2023


James Earnest Spooner, born January 03, 1931 to Howard and Helen (Armstrong) Spooner.  He was the youngest of three children, all of whom preceded him in death.  He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Helen Spooner and his two children, Carl Spooner and Rebecca Spooner Alcocer.  As well as his two grandchildren, Faith Padilla and Callie Orchard. 

James graduated from Maplewood High School in St. Louis, Missouri in 1948.  He received his Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Tech in 1952.  He served in the United States Army from 1952 through 1954 at Fort Detrick, Maryland.  In 1961, he went on to earn his Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from University of California at Berkley.  In 1972, he earned his Ph.D from  Missouri University of Science and Technology. 

James met the love of his life, Helen Stangl, in 1954 in St. Louis, Missouri and they married in 1957.  They had two children: Carl Howard in 1965 and Rebecca Giselle in 1968.  The family moved to New Mexico 1974, where they remain today.  James retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1991 and went on to enjoy his retired life with his wife by his side.  He was an inventor and builder at heart, having built four homes in his lifetime and numerous inventions for which he received patents.

James passed away peacefully on January 07, 2023, shortly after his 92nd birthday, surrounded by his family, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Papa Jim, as he was lovingly called by family,  had the brightest blue eyes that twinkled when he laughed, a beautiful head of snow white hair, and an incredible sense of humor; He is the rock of this family.  His catch phrases will live on:  “Hey Papa, what are you doing?”   his response – “playing tiddlywinks with sewer lids” or “Hey Papa, guess what?”  his response – “chicken butt fried in grease, wanna piece?”   He is an amazing father and husband, with vast patience, love and understanding.

Services will be on Friday, February 17, 2023  at  10:00 am at the Vista Verde Memorial Park, 4310 Sara Rd., Rio Rancho, New Mexico.  In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Diabetes Association

Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.  – Dr. Seuss

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