Obituaries

James Douglas Spannbauer, 85, of Middlebury

JAMES DOUGLAS SPANNBAUER

MIDDLEBURY — Doug’s Journey
James Douglas Spannbauer died quietly at home, in Middlebury, Vt., Friday morning, Sept. 4, 2020, his battle with cancer, diabetes and heart health issues finally over. “Doug” entered this lifetime Feb. 18, 1935, born in Little Falls, N.Y., beloved son of Catherine and James Spannbauer. He was loved and pampered, an only child until his sister, Valerie Jean joined him ten years later. His father’s work, that of a shoe salesman, throughout the Albany, N.Y., area, left its mark on Doug, demonstrated by his love of shoes! His first appraisal upon meeting someone was to notice their shoes. His dapper look was further noted, often sporting a bow tie and flashy colors.
But I digress… Doug joined the Air Force, 6 days 17… convincing his Mom to sign for him. He, a skinny kid, was clothed in woman’s fatigues, the only uniform that would fit his slight build. After basic training, he headed to Korea and thus began 20 years of military service. He would travel far and wide… adding the Philippines, Viet Nam, and France as exciting venues. Married to Nancy Eldridge, they had three children, Tracy (Stout), Helen, Ga.; Christopher, Middlebury, Vt.; and Bradley, Moorpark, Calif. He started out as a radio operator, often riding in the belly of airplanes, tapping out Morse code. Eventually he joined the OSI where he found his niche.
Like his youth, where he moved often, this lifestyle kept him on the move every three years. Dougie loved to travel, much to the dismay of his family, always packing and looking for new adventures. He was really proud of completing his college degree at the University of Nebraska. Upon retiring, he joined the Defense Investigative Service.
The moves continued. He married Elizabeth (Betsy) Buttolph in 1984 in the Keys, where they lived until his retirement in 1995. Eventually they would find their way back to Vermont, loving their home in Middlebury and a slower-paced lifestyle. His extensive collection of Civil War books and old movies occupied many hours of quiet pleasure. He loved grooming the lawn on his beloved tractor. Not a country boy, this was new fun for him. And NO more moving.
Doug and Betsy share six children, including Ann Elizabeth Humiston, Sydney, Australia; Deborah Lynn Humiston, Exeter, N.H.; Ralph Michael Humiston, Kittery, Maine; 16 grandchildren and 7 (beloved treasures) great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind many fun stories and lots of laughter.
At some point in the future, there will be a gathering, to celebrate Doug and his many fun stories. Enjoy jazz as he did, old movies that occupied much of his time and plan to take home a favorite hat… of which there are many!◊

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