The Marine Corps, Carter Lumber, Chicago Bears and Walter Payton (Sweetness), Boston Celtics
and Larry Bird, John Denver, bluegrass music, buttermilk, incredibly dry cornbread in a bowl of
milk, his vegetable garden, fishing, putting his feet in the warm sand, a warm fire, a cold beer…
Fate Spears (August 12, 1940 - April 18, 2020) had many loves but the one thread that tied
them all together was people. None of these things did he necessarily enjoy in isolation – it was
the friendly interaction of it all that meant the most to him. For Fate, a cold beer was better
enjoyed while sitting around a warm fire “tellin’ some lies”. His success at Carter Lumber,
Fairview, Pa. came from meeting and talking to people - everyone knew Fate, everyone liked
Fate. Fate loved to help others – he was a most generous man, often giving away what he
himself owned to help someone else out and not asking for anything in return.
One thing everyone liked about Fate was his humility, his “down-to-earth-ness”. He was not
looking for fame or fortune. After lettering in high school in basketball and football, at
graduation Fate did not pursue an athletic scholarship at East Tennessee State University, but
he chose to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, earning the rank
of Corporal and serving on three different naval ships: USS Springfield, USS Des Moines, and the
aircraft supercarrier USS Kitty Hawk. After an honorable discharge, Fate was hired at Carter
Lumber on September 21, 1963 and continued with Carter until his death, for a tenure of 56
years, 8 months. If you knew Carter Lumber Fairview, you knew Fate, and he practically
employed all of West County and their children at some point.
Of all the things and people that he loved, nothing meant more to him than family. From his
family back in the hollers of eastern Kentucky and western Virginia where he so proudly grew
up, to his family back in Ohio, to the family that he created and raised in Girard, PA, Fate felt
that there was nothing more important than “kin” and keeping hold of you “ruuts”. For Fate,
there was always room for one more at the table or room for one more in the family.
Fate is preceded in death by his parents, Bert and Dorcie (Short) Spears, and his sisters Shirleen
(Spears) Lowe and Francis (Spears) Neal and his brothers Leroy Spears and Buford Blake Spears.
Fate is also preceded by his beloved wife Penelope (Fawcett) Spears. Penny (or “Pee-ny”, as
Fate would say) and Fate were introduced by a mutual friend in September 1966. Penny often
told the story that she was just walking down the street when her friend and Fate came to walk
on either side of her. She did not notice the friend at first but this tall, handsome stranger and it
was love at first sight for both of them. She married that tall, handsome stranger a few months
later on January 1, 1967 and remained married for 45 years, until her passing in 2011. Together
they raised and are survived by their six children: Stephanie Spears (Lakewood, NY); Fate
“Randy” Spears II (Columbus, OH); Melanie (and John) Mischler (Franklin Township, PA);
Andrew (and Kristen) Spears (Atlanta, GA); Adam (and Melissa) Spears (Cleveland, OH); Nathan
(and Ashley) Spears (McKean, PA). Fate is also preceded in death by his beloved brother in law
and best friend, Penny’s brother, Tom Fawcett.
Fate is also survived by his loving and devoted wife, Cathy (Cornish) who lovingly and faithfully
cared for him for the last eight and a half years, and her children, Melissa (and Michael) Brooks
(Erie, PA) and Heather (and Jaime) Pezzuti (Cranberry Township, PA) as well as his daughter
Marla (and Steve) Turnbull (Pittsburgh, PA). He is survived by his brothers James, William,
Chuck, Van, Robert, David, and Josh, and by his sisters Shelby, Mylinda, and Vickie. Additionally,
Fate’s clan has grown to include 13 grandchildren, two great grandchildren and eight granddogs.
Fate’s long-time companion and furry friend, his dog Charlie, survives him and will greatly
The family is heartbroken that they cannot celebrate his life with the family and community
that he so loved at this time, but will, when appropriate, hold a memorial service and
internment to remember and honor the life of Fate. In the meantime, honor Fate by sitting with
your loved ones, drinking a cold one, and telling a few lies while having a few laughs.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fate Spears, please visit our floral store.