KINGSPORT — Harold (“Hal”) Thies Spoden died in the early morning at Holston Valley Medical Center after a short illness.
Mr. Spoden was born on February 5, 1918, in Fredonia, New York, and was the son of the late Ellen Elizabeth Thies Spoden and Florian George Spoden. He grew up on his family’s grape farm and was educated in Fredonia public schools, graduating in 1935 from Fredonia High School (Class President).
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1940. He was a member of the Michigamua Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi, National Engineering Honor Society (Chapter President) and American Society of Civil Engineers (Chapter President).
Mr. Spoden married Muriel Millar Clark in 1942 and they had two children and enjoyed 57 years of fulfilling family life. Muriel Spoden passed in 1999. In 2000, Mr. Spoden was again blessed by marriage to Bobbie Jo Morris, who has been his devoted wife and companion.
Prior to World War II, Mr. Spoden was employed by the American Bridge Company in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, and the Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville, Tennessee. In October 1941, Mr. Spoden left for Africa in the employ of Pan American Airways Africa, Ltd., in support of the British war effort. He was placed in charge of construction of the mid-route facility base in Maduguri, Nigeria. Returning to the States in December 1942, he was sent by Pan Am to be in charge of construction in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, and then Anchorage, Alaska. He then worked at the Oak Ridge nuclear K-25 facility until called by the U.S. Navy for duty in California in 1945.
In 1951, Mr. Spoden moved to Kingsport and in 1956 he founded the firm of H.T. Spoden & Associates, Consulting Engineers, an engineering firm specializing in structural engineering. He ran that firm, which became Spoden & Wilson in 1996, until 2009, when he retired. Mr. Spoden designed many buildings and structures in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Eastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina, including Dobyns-Bennett High School, the Tri-Cities Regional Airport, the original Ridgefields Bridge over the Holston River, which was the longest pre-stressed concrete bridge in the world at the time of its construction, a historic bridge at Monticello, Charlottsville, Virginia, and many of the buildings at Holston Valley Community Hospital.
Mr. Spoden was very active in the community, serving as President of the Kingsport Chambers of Commerce, President of Ridgefields Country Club, and for years on the Board of the Netherland Inn Association. In 2009, the City of Kingsport named the newly constructed Bank Barn at the Netherland Inn in his honor.
In his profession, he was also honored to receive the Distinguished Service Award by both the Upper East Tennessee and Statewide Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers, including the Dan Barge Award in 1993 for distinguished service.
Mr. Spoden is survived by his devoted wife, Bobbie Jo Spoden, of Kingsport; his children, Diane Muriel Spoden, of Auburn, California, Micajah Clark Spoden, and wife, Norah Buikstra Spoden, of Nashville, Terra Jo Housewright and Husband, David Gail Housewright, of Ashland, Ohio, Chris Carroll, of Franklin, Tennessee, Page Morris Jeffers and Husband, Michael Joseph Jeffers, of Kingsport; his grandchildren, Liana Michelle Sonne, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Aren Troy Sonne, Eidenhoven, Holland, Micajah (“Cage”) Clark Spoden Jr., of Austin, Texas, Anna Elizabeth Spoden, of Nashville, Meredith Housewright Harris, of Kingsport, Taylor Housewright and Chelsea Housewright, of Ashland, Ohio, Jesse Corbin Carroll and Isabella Ann Carroll, of Franklin, Tennessee, Jessica Travis Slaughter and Husband, Matt Slaughter, Jessica Marie Jeffers, Lawrence Quinton Ross Travis, all of Kingsport; and great-grandchildren Emma Jayne Slaughter and Colton Michael Jeffers, of Kingsport.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, November 10, from 5-8 p.m. and Friday, November 11, from 1-2 p.m., at Hamlett-Dobson, Kingsport.
The funeral service will follow at 2:00 p.m. on Friday in the Chapel with Interfaith Minister Diane Spoden officiating.
Burial will follow at Oak Hill Memorial Park. Pallbearers are Steve D. Wilson, Michael Jeffers, Aren Sonne, Cage Spoden, Corbin Carroll and Quinton Travis.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the Netherland Inn Association, P.O.B. 293, Kingsport, TN 37660.
You may visit www.hamlettdobson.com to leave an online condolence for the family.
Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home, Kingsport is serving the family of Harold “Hal” Spoden.