Howard Edward Spears, age 67, passed away on May 29 at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin. Howard was born in Lewis County on April 17, 1954, to William Howard and Sylvia Jane Anderson Spears.
He leaves behind his wife of 29 years, Paula Muse Spears, his mother Sylvia Jane Anderson Spears, a son Jamie (Anna) Spears of Centerville, a stepson Kyle (Laurie Beth) Ellis of Oxford, Mississippi. His five grandchildren, Kinsley, Karlie, and Anderson Spears, and Carson and Denton Ellis. He has one brother, Marty (Debbie) Spears and a nephew Paxson Spears.
Howard graduated from Lewis County High School in 1972. He then proudly attended The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He graduated in 1978 with a master’s degree in Heath and Physical Education. He was an educator with the Lewis County Schools for 32 years. His true passion was coaching basketball. During his coaching career, he coached both girls’ and boys’ basketball at the middle school and high school level. He won numerous district and regional championships. He was honored several years as District Coach of the Year. A highlight every summer was helping conduct the Galen Johnson Basketball Camps in Lewis County and other locations as well. Coach Galen Johnson of Maryville was the inspiration for everything Coach Spears taught in basketball. Howard set high standards for all his players and pushed them to reach their full potential. He truly cared for every one of his players and they knew it. He was a role model for many of his players who went on to coach their own teams.
After retirement, he enjoyed a successful eBay business and was the owner of Spears Collectibles. His best times were spent traveling with his wife Paula and attending every sporting event that his grandchildren participated in from baseball, basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, and football. He loved watching the grandchildren competing in sports. He was a true University of Tennessee Volunteers athletics supporter. Many trips were made to Knoxville to Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena to watch his beloved Vols. He also traveled around the country to watch them at various stadiums and attended as many bowl games as possible. He was a true VFL.
He was a member of the Hohenwald Church of Christ. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Hohenwald Church of Christ Pantry Fund at 110 South Park Street, Hohenwald, Tennessee 38462.
A memorial service will be conducted at Hohenwald Church of Christ on Friday, June 11 at 11:00 am. Visitation with the family will be from 9-11.
Adair Funeral & Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements.
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