RICHARD DALTON SPANGLER, M.D. 1938-2014
On January 30, 1938, in Bryan, Texas, Richard Spangler was the first-born son of Ann McGill Spangler and Harold Monroe Spangler. Dick’s father, a veterinarian, was teaching animal anatomy at Texas A&M, having served in World War II with a mule train on the China-Burma Road. The family moved to Austin, Texas, where his parents opened a veterinarian medical practice. Dick attended Austin Public Schools, graduating with the still close-knit Austin High class of 1955. He was a pre-med Plan II major at the University of Texas, a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity member, and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in 1959. Upon graduating he married Linda Thompson of Port Arthur, Texas, and they moved to Houston, Texas, where Dick attended Baylor College of Medicine. Graduating again with honors, Alpha Omega Alpha, the couple headed to California for Dick’s internship at the University of California Medical Center San Francisco and then on to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for an internal medicine residency. It was while he was in Minnesota that he discovered skiing in Colorado which would change the course of their lives. Next, they were in Washington, D.C. for Dick’s Public Health Service at Georgetown University Hospital and then to Denver for a cardiology fellowship at the University of Colorado Medical Center. After a few years in academic medicine, he joined Dr. J. Thomas Okin in the private practice of cardiology. Together they initiated a number of innovative cardiac testing programs, including an MRI program at St. Anthony’s Hospital. The two men retired at the turn of the century, but remained involved in MRI and Gamma Knife procedures. Following a lengthy illness, Dick’s loving heart failed on August 22, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.
Dick was a sometimes larger than life figure, with a rapier wit, a wonderful sense of humor, and an enormous heart. He held nothing dearer than home and hearth except for family. He is survived by his loving wife Linda, his beloved son Christopher Dalton Spangler, and his two sweetest grandchildren on earth, Madison Elizabeth Spangler and John Dalton Spangler. He leaves his brothers Samuel Carter Spangler, Scott Monroe Spangler, Stephen Brown Spangler and his sister Anne Spangler Perrier. He is also survived by his much loved sister-in-law Nancy Smith of Amarillo, nieces and nephews, cousins, great nieces and nephews and many dear friends and colleagues. If you were lucky enough to have spent any time with Dick, cherish it. There aren’t many more like him.
Burial rites will be held in St. Martin’s Chapel at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral at 1313 Clarkson Street, Denver at 1:00 p.m. followed by inurnment on All Soul’s Walk on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. The family requests donations which will give young people an opportunity to excel in life through the Opportunity Plan, Inc., 504 24th Street, P.O. Box 1035, Canyon, Texas 79015, or a favorite charity or scholarship program in his name.