JSA Environmental

JSA Environmental

Obituary for Jo-Walter Spear, Sr.

Jo-Walter Spear, Sr. died peacefully in his home on March 1, 2020. He was born to Joseph G. Spear and Miriam (Davis) Spear in Salem, NJ on November 3, 1942. He inherited his father’s devilish wit and mother’s grace and a love for all people. He had a silver tongue, a ready smile, and usually a joke or two for anyone with the time to chat. His warmth and congeniality was a magnet that drew in everyone he met. His best friend and wife, Faith (Ford) Spear, was unable to resist his charm for 54 years.

Jo graduated from Pennsville HIgh School and went on to receive a biology degree from Rutgers University and a Masters in chemistry from The University of Pennsylvania. He used his captivating gift for communication to teach elementary and high schools in Elsinboro, Olivet, and Vineland, NJ before finding his true calling in solid waste engineering. He founded a successful business, JSA Environmental, Solid Waste Management Consultants, in 1997, while continuing to honor his love for teaching. He taught solid waste engineering at MSCE Midwest College of Engineering in Chicago and MSOE Milwaukee School of Engineering and was a Member and Certified instructor of SWANA Solid Waste Association of North America. Most recently, Jo served on the Lewis Creek Watershed Commission in Staunton, VA. He was a Federal Emergency Management Association certified instructor of disaster debris management. He was always eager to share his knowledge of environmental management practices.

Jo’s love of teaching extended into his weekends and evenings as he was a lifelong member of the Religious Society of Friends and a member of Valley Friends Meeting in Dayton, VA. He taught at the Friend’s Meeting whenever the opportunity presented itself. Leading groups of young Friends brought joy and meaning to his life. Jo served with pride on the board of MICAH, Milwaukee Intercity Alliance of Churches for Hope during his time in Milwaukee, WI. He was active in meeting and served on various committees throughout his long tenure as a Friend. Jo believed strongly in equality and representation for all people. He enjoyed volunteering his time to promote causes that would bring people together or shed light on inequalities. He believed in community, cooperation, and inclusion. Jo was an initial organizer of the Bridges International Potluck in Harrisonburg, VA, bringing people of all cultures and backgrounds together for meals and laughs.

Where Jo really shined was anytime he was with the important people in his life. He could make anyone, friend or family, feel like the most important person in the room. He was a listener and a thinker and a teller of tales. He was strong, but tender, fun-loving, but dignified, and always dedicated to his loving wife, Faith, who will forever miss him. He will also be missed by his sons, Jo-Walter Spear, Jr. and Fritz Flynn; daughter, Morgen Flynn; and his cherished granddaughter, Erin Faith Flynn. No one will ever make us laugh quite the same way, but we will continue to joke and tell stories as he would have wanted.

Jo’s favorite nonprofits were Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley and Southern Environmental Law Center. His life was memorialized on March 7, 2020 at Valley Friends Meeting