Eleanor Marie "Ellie" (Kunstel) Spear

Eleanor Marie "Ellie" (Kunstel) Spear, 90
PORTLAND - Eleanor Marie "Ellie" (Kunstel) Spear, 90, a resident of Park Danforth, in Portland, died at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough on Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, following a massive stroke the previous Saturday.
She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, May 4, 1927, the second of five children of Robert Kunstel and Elsie (Vieth) Kunstel. Robert immigrated to this country from Austria with his parents when he was three years old and they settled in the German community in St. Louis.
She was predeceased by her parents; her sister, Ruth McKee; and her brother, James.
Ellie is survived by her husband, Donald Spear, now of Portland, and formerly of Bath where they lived for 35 years; her daughter, Amy Spear Higgins, of Yarmouth; and her son, Dave, and his wife, Leah, of Popham Beach. She is also survived by two brothers, Robert, of Cameron Park, Calif.; and David of Maryland Heights, Missouri, and his wife, Ann; as well as seven nieces and 10 nephews.
Her working career included two years in publicity and public relations with Stix, Baer and Fuller, the premier department store chain in St. Louis, followed by three years as an employee of the Department of the Army in Gen. Douglas MacArthur's occupation headquarters in Tokyo; and then two years with the occupying forces in Germany. Upon her return to the United States she went to Washington, D.C., where she was an executive secretary in the Office of the General Council, U.S. Department of Commerce, for five years.
She met her husband when he was hired in 1957 by the deputy general counsel of the Commerce Department. Their first date was on Palm Sunday eve of 1958 and they were married in St. Louis on June 20, 1959, before returning to Bath to begin their 58 years together.
Ellie was warm, wise, intuitive, razor-sharp bright, and a loving person who possessed a wonderful sense of humor. She was outgoing, full of life by nature, and had a genuine and fond interest in the lives and well-being of others.
She loved their retirement home, an 1830s Cape farm house with 25 acres, which they had first acquired as a year-round vacation home in 1984. One of her great delights was putting on holiday spreads for her family and their friends. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas were made very special and memorable by her.
She was totally dedicated to her family, which gratefully acknowledges the care, love and support of the Hospice of Southern Maine - Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough. The family also thanks the independent-living staff at Park Danforth for their many kindnesses and services to her over the past eight years.
At her instructions, there are to be no services.

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Dec. 6, 2017