John Carl Spiegel, who faithfully kept the friends and shared the tales of his rich life, passed away on October 1, 2017 at his Bedminster home, surrounded by family. He survived a devastating shipboard fire and a severe earthquake, but succumbed to the prostate cancer which he fought vigorously for 23 years. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Linda (Sheetz) Spiegel, his daughter Carolin Spiegel and her husband Christopher Kindel, grandchildren Colin and Colette, and his sister, Susanne Patzold. He was predeceased by his brother Robert.
John was born on Flag Day, 1941 in Teaneck, NJ to Erwin and Elsa (Milde) Spiegel. John graduated from Xavier High School in New York City and received his bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He joined the US Navy, and while in flight training, sang in the Naval Training Command Choir. He was an aviator aboard the USS Oriskany during the Vietnam War.
After leaving the Navy, he received a master’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago. He then became a Foreign Service Officer with US Department of State, and served tours in Romania (during the Iron Curtain era), Japan, Canada, Cyprus, and Washington, D.C., as well as shorter assignments around the globe.
Upon retirement in 2000, John and Linda moved from Vienna, VA, to Bedminster, where he soon became involved in community service. He was a member of the Bedminster Regional Land Conservancy board, the Bedminster Planning Commission, the Act 32 Committee, and a VITA tutor. He became a skillful woodworker, and made numerous pieces of furniture for family and friends. He never lost his love of flying, and maintained his private pilot’s license into his late 60s. He enjoyed playing the piano and listening to music, as well as doing challenging crossword puzzles. His two grandchildren were his greatest joy.
A funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, 100 Broad Street, Hilltown, PA 18927 on Saturday, October 7th at 11:00 am. The family will receive friends from 9:30-11:00 am prior to the Mass.
Interment with military honors will be held in Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Newtown, PA at a later date.
Memorial contributions in John’s name to the following organizations would be appreciated: Land Trust of Bucks County (formerly Bedminster Regional Land Conservancy), P.O. Box 208, Bedminster, PA 18910; Xavier High School, 30 West 16th Street, NY, NY 10011; and The USO, P.O. Box 96860, Washington, DC 20077-7677.
Send condolences to www.varcoethomasfuneralhome.com.