John Wesley Spargur, 82, of Custer, SD, passed away June 18, 2020 at Fort Meade Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Sturgis, SD.
John was born August 31, 1937, in Custer, SD, to Irvin and Mildred (Porter) Spargur. He attended Custer Public Schools until his parents gave him permission to join the military at 17. He graduated at the top of his class in the school of hard knocks.
John enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1954, retired in 1976 as Boatswain’s Mate Senior Chief Petty Officer, having served three tours in Vietnam. He then worked in offshore construction in Asia and the Middle East. He returned to his professional passion of piloting ships in 1980. He piloted ships in Guam, Japan, Diego Garcia and ended his career as Chief Pilot in San Diego in 2006. He honorably served his country in the U.S. Navy and in federal service for 48 years.
John’s hobbies included but were not limited to hunting, fishing, crosswords, reading, spending time with friends, his dog and braiding leashes for anyone who wanted one.
John will be remembered for being generous to a fault, doing anything for his friends. He would have the crossword done before the first cup of coffee. He remembered everything and is best described as a humble, hardworking patriot who served at the highest level of the Maritime profession as Chief Harbor Pilot.
John belonged to every hunting, gun, fishing and rodeo club known to man. He was passionate about the outdoors and dedicated to making a contribution to the western way of life.
John is survived by his twin brother, Gerald (Alice) Spargur of Spearfish, SD; sister in law, Pat Spargur of Custer; sister in law, Jeannie Spargur; numerous nieces and nephews and by his good friend, Susan Orsini.
Visitation will be held 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday June 25, 2020, at Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home in Custer, SD.
Committal services will be held 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 26, 2020, at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, SD.
Memorials may be sent in John’s name to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation at rmef.org/donate
Arrangements have been placed in the care of Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home of Custer, SD.