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Spearman, Gene "Sonny"

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March 20, 1943 - September 8, 2015

Spearman, Gene "Sonny"

Gene “Sonny” Spearman passed away on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at the age of 72.  Born in Little Rock, Arkansas to Gene and Elaine Spearman, he spent the entirety of his life as an avid Arkansas Razorbacks fan. After moving to Dallas, Texas early in his adult life, he became an integral part of many noteworthy local and state organizations.  He worked in Executive Administration for the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department from 1966-1994. He was a former Board member of Boys Baseball Incorporated (BBI) and Past President, Auctioneer, and long-time active member of the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS).  His love of sports afforded him the opportunity to work in various capacities at Reunion Arena and American Airlines Center for the Dallas Stars and the Dallas Mavericks, Texas Stadium for the Dallas Cowboys, and the Cotton Bowl for the Cotton Bowl Classic and other venue events.

He was also well-known for his role as Santa Claus.  He spent all of his extra time in November and December of each year performing as a professional Santa for local professional sports teams, the DeGoyer Estate in the Dallas Arboretum, numerous charities, private organizations and families.   As the official City of Dallas Santa for many years, he hosted the City of Dallas Downtown Tree Lighting arriving in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, motorcycle, fire truck, helicopter, and sleigh!

He loved the city of Dallas and this was most evident in his passion for and commitment to The Great State Fair of Texas.  He most recently served as the Entertainment Coordinator and Stage Manager and, with over 40 years of service to the State Fair, he was known and loved by countless numbers of employees and patrons alike.

He is survived by his immediate family (Terry Spearman, David and Heather Spearman, Steve and Kristin Nelson, his five grandsons Addison, Milo, Keaton, Cameron, and Vaughn) and a large network of extended family and friends.

A Celebratory Gathering will take place from 1 to 3:30pm on Friday September 18, 2015 at The Foundry (2303 Pittman Street Dallas, TX 75208); followed by another celebratory gathering beginning at 4:30pm at the DoubleWide (3510 Commerce Dallas, TX 75226).  Family and friends are invited to attend both, or chose which one fits their schedule.

Arrangements under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
10116 E Northwest Highway
Dallas, TX 75238
214-340-8008

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Bill Horn

July 12, 2018 11:18AM

I was so sad to read about the passing of Gene Spearman. He and I attended Levi Fry Jr. High School in Texas City back in the late 50's. We played on the football team attended the First Baptist Church, and "ran around together back in the day." He was a great person. I remember his oldest sister always singing a song called "At The Foot of the Bed.


Bill Dawson

March 09, 2016 3:49PM

Gene and I were great friends. Roommates at Ouachita Bapt. Univ. and both loved sports. He spent the summer of 63'at my parents house and they grew to love him too. I will sorely miss you my dear friend!


Cortez Cason

September 18, 2015 1:23PM

Condolences to your family and may God bless them during these trying times.

Gene,
Haven't seen you in a while, but thought of you often. Rest well old friend.

Cortez Cason


Betty Orellana

September 14, 2015 7:39AM

My brother Sonny will always be Santa Claus! I remember all of our family Christmases,when after Dad read Luke 2 while the grand kids acted out the manger scene, we would all wait so anxiously for the "Old man with the long white beard" to make his appearance! We'd sing Jingle Bells and Santa would knock on the sliding glass door and we would all scream with excitement and be thinking of what we could tell Santa when he'd call us up to sit in his lap. It was kinda scary because you never knew what Santa Sonny would say about you!
I'm so thankful that Santa came to see Nate and Ray, Doug's sons,at my house on Christmas 2012.
Sonny always showed a genuine interest in my life, and he always cared. He helped me one time when my chihuahua needed a "C"Section. I told him that I needed to borrow money for the costly operation or Princess would die! I promised to pay him back when my paycheck came. At first he said, "Well, Betty, we love our animals but sometimes we have to let them go! I said, "But Sonny, Princessa is my family! He told me to hurry up and come get the money before he changed his mind! Princessa and her baby Alyse are here because of Sonny!
I'm gonna miss his snow village displayed proudly on his kitchen table and the beautiful Christmas tree decorated by him and Terry! I love him so much and I miss him. I know that I will see him again, so this is just "goodbye" for awhile.


John and Frances Phillips

September 13, 2015 11:32PM

We have wonderful memories of Gene. He was a generous, kind, and trustworthy friend. John worked with a Gene for 20 years at Dallas Park and Recreation. They had hilarious stories to tell on one another and about one another! In recent years we saw Gene mainly at the State Fair. He was most fortunate to lead such an interesting and varied life--from administrator to grandfather to Santa, he loved each role he played. We will miss him and his wonderful smile.


Barbara and Bert Scott

September 13, 2015 9:20PM

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. He was a wonderful person and a great friend. We loved him and will miss him!!


Ron Adams

September 13, 2015 3:35PM

Terry, I am sorry for your loss. I know Gene will be missed by his sister, kids, grandkids, other family members, and his many friends.


Bo Weaver

September 13, 2015 11:57AM

Nancy, so sorry for your loss. I met Sonny when your dad was the music director at Pleasant Grove First Baptist Church. May God bless you and your family.


Prudence Mahaffey Mackintosh

September 13, 2015 11:11AM

Gene was a great friend in my high school days, as were all of the Spearmans. I loved his Mom and Dad. Mrs. Spearman was my junior English teacher. My grandchildren will always believe in Santa because of the actual sighting they had one lovely Christmas Eve at my house. What a jolly grand St. Nick he was and is!


Terry Spearman

September 11, 2015 2:16PM

I would like to acknowledge everyone that has or will contact our family. The remembrances, antidotes, stories already shared are heartfelt. Thank you for sharing them with us.