Donald Spicer | Obituaries |

Donald Lawrence Spicer, 94, of O’Neill, died on Sunday January 23, 2022 at Arbor Care Nursing Home in Neligh due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Memorial visitation will be from 1-2 p.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at Christ Lutheran Church in O’Neill.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at O’Neill Church. Reverend John Nelson will officiate.

Interment will be at O’Neill Cemetery in O’Neill.

Memoirs can be made at the Little Disciples Child Development Center at Christ Lutheran Church in O’Neill.

The Biglin morgue in O’Neill is responsible for the arrangements.

Donald was born August 16, 1927, to Elmer “Lawrence” and Edith (Gamble) Spicer on their farm in Wessington, SD. In 1937 the family moved to the Elmer J. Spicer family farm.

Actively involved in the church, his family expanded the Wessington Presbyterian Church and children were baptized there, becoming members. After 1937, the family attended an American Sunday School choir.

Don attended several schools in Beadle County, SD and Berkshire and Brown Schools in Hand County, SD. His studies were interrupted during World War II to help run the farm while his two brothers served. During this time, he enrolled in the American School of Correspondence in Chicago to complete his high school education. From 1952 to 1955, he completed his studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY, where he earned his M. DN degree.

On August 16, 1947, Don married Bethel Jean Orr. During their union, they conceived nine children, two of whom survived only a few hours after their birth: Jonathon and Hope. They weren’t childless however, Don and Bethel adopted four children – Debora joined them in 1954, followed by David in 1957, Danny in 1963 and Melody in 1965. Not only were they blessed with their children , but they also welcomed 96 children.

In 1948 Don and Bethel joined the Free Methodist Church and he was ordained in 1952. After graduating in 1955 from Asbury Seminary, Don was appointed to the Free Methodist Church in Rapid City, SD. The family later moved to Grand Forks where he helped design and build a church for the members there. He served other churches during his time in ministry in Minneapolis, MN; Mason City, Iowa; Calm water, OK; and Woodward, okay.

In 1982 Don was transferred to Bethany Free Methodist Church near the small village of Amelia until his retirement in 1996. He returned to ministry, this time serving at O’Neill Wesleyan Church for another six years before officially retiring on December 1. 2002. During his 43 years of active ministry, he has been an active member of the Christian education program for the denomination.

Following a long and debilitating illness, his faithful and pious wife Bethel died on August 27, 2001, just after their 54th wedding anniversary.

On December 25, 2002, Don married a second time to his longtime friend, Mary Newland in Temecula, California. Their union was cut short when Mary died on April 6, 2003. This prompted Don to return to O’Neill where he bought a house.

Upon his return, he befriended Elizabeth Ryding at the Golden Age Senior Center. Their friendship quickly turned into a bond. Don sought his eldest son’s blessing to marry her off, and they were married on January 1, 2006 by Elizabeth’s eldest son, Reverend John Ryding at Christ Lutheran Church. Elizabeth and Don made O’Neill their home and attended O’Neill’s Lutheran Church and Wesleyan Church, active in both congregations.

Don is survived by his wife of 16 years Elizabeth Ryding-Spicer of O’Neill; four children Debora Spicer of Wichita, KS, David (Robin) Spicer of Stillwater, OK, Danny (Stacy) Spicer of Woodward, OK, and Melody (Chuck) Halverson of Billings, MT; three stepchildren John (Kathryn) Ryding, David (Irene) Ryding and Marilyn (Peter J) Giammaria; a cousin Mary; nieces, nephews, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law Ruth Spicer.

He was predeceased by his parents Elmer “Lawrence” and Edith Spicer, two wives Bethel and Mary, a son Jonathon, a daughter Hope, two brothers Warren and Lyle Spicer, a sister Doris, a niece Gloria Spicer and seven children to be born.

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