Paul Marion Spearman

Paul Marion Spearman, 63, died on the 11th day of March 2023 at Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, following a long illness. He was comforted by his family. His wife, Janice Spearman, survives of the home in Country Club, Missouri. Paul’s life will be celebrated at a memorial for family and friends in Lawrence, Kansas.

Paul was born on November 17, 1959, in Lawrence, Kansas to John H. Spearman, Sr. and Vernell Spearman. He loved music and could remember the words of any song he heard. He had a special affection for Jazz, which he got from his father. Paul had a quick wit and loved to laugh.

He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1977. As a high school student Paul was a member of the track team and he was selected to attend Boys’ State. He was an active member of the Black American Club. His classmates elected him to student government in 1975 and class treasurer in 1976. After graduation he attended the University of Kansas and Howard University in Washington, D.C. After school, Paul managed McDonald franchises in Washington, D.C. and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Upon his return to Lawrence in 1991, Paul worked primarily as a car salesman at dealerships in Lawrence, Atchison, and the Kansas City metropolitan area until he retired in 2018.

In 1993 Paul married Alesia Smith. They raised two children, Taryn & Ashley, together. The couple divorced in 2003.

In 2004 Paul married Janice Downing, they settled in Atchison, Kansas and eventually moved to Country Club, Missouri.

Paul is survived by his wife, Janice; two brothers, John (Eve) and Michael (Mariane); his sister, Terry (Saundra); his children Stephen and Delice Downing, Taryn Wilburn, and Ashley Smallwood; grandchildren Aah’lice, Adrian, Jr. “A2”, Brandon and Tyree and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Vernell, and his sister, Melanie.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to: The Spearman Family Student Research and Support Fund for the Department of African and African-American Studies at the University of Kansas.

3 Condolences

  1. Pamela Vann-Lawson on March 14, 2023 at 10:05 am

    Spearman Family, I send my deepest, most sincere condolences for your loss.
    I’ve known Paul most of my life; five or six years old. After high school life happened, but Paul always found a way to keep in touch.
    I am so thankful we had the “crew” together, via Zoom, a couple of weeks ago. It gave us a chance to say, see ya later. ❤️

  2. Gregory Galloway (USAF, Ret) on March 15, 2023 at 8:27 am

    To “The Spearmans” Johnny, Michael, and Terry. May we express our deepest condolences for the loss of your brother and our childhood friend. To Paul’s wife, children, grandchildren, and all those he loved and whose life he touched, may shared memories make you smile and warm your heart. Paul will be missed by so many. We pray God’s comforting arms will hold and keep you today tomorrow and the days to come. Love, “The Galloways”

  3. Michael E Mitchell on March 22, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    To the Spearman family, I graduated Lawrence High in 1970 with Michael. He and I got to know each other in Central Junior High. John was closer to my brother Steve’s age, but also knew him because they were on the Lawrence High gymnastics team. Michael and I were also on the same gymnastics team, although Michael was far more successful than I, and if memory serves right, was a state champion. The Spearman family was highly regarded for both academics and athletics. I did not know Paul, but can only assume that any member of the Spearman family was well loved and respected. I offer my sincere condolences to the entire family. Michael Mitchell

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