LARRY LEE SPEARS, of Key West, Florida, formerly of Monmouth, Illinois died Saturday, August 17, 2019, in Monmouth, Illinois. Larry was born September 3, 1937, at home, in Centralia, Illinois. The son of Melvin R. and Ann Marcum Spears, his father died when Larry was two years old and he was reared by his mother. He attended public schools in Centralia, graduating from Centralia Township High School with the Class of 1955.
With his mother’s encouragement, he attended and graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a B.A. degree in 1959 and from the University of Illinois, College of Law with a L.L.B. degree in 1962. Larry was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1962 and he practiced law for fifty-seven (57) years, maintaining his law license until his death. Most recently he was a partner with his son, Marcum A. Spears in the Monmouth, Illinois, law firm of Spears and Spears.
He is survived by his children, Donald Gabby Spears, Marcum A. (Dana) Spears, both of Monmouth, Illinois, and Ann V. (Jason) Bergren, along with three (3) grandsons, Anders, Lars and Henrik Bergren of Mahomet, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents.
He was a lifelong Methodist and a Democrat. In 1968 he was elected Warren County State’s Attorney as a Democrat and remains the only Democrat elected to a county wide office in Warren County for the last one hundred (100) plus years.
If practicing law was his profession, banks were his hobby and he served as a Director at various times of the former First State Bank of Little York, the former National Bank of Monmouth and the Community National Bank of Monmouth, Illinois.
As legal advisor to the late Martha S. Pattee, he was instrumental in the formation of the Pattee Foundation, Inc. located in Monmouth, Illinois (a local charitable private foundation that has awarded over $23 million in grants to local charities) and served as a Director and the Secretary/Treasurer from its inception in 1983. He served as a Democratic Precinct Committeeman and legal advisor to the Warren County Committee for many years. He also was a member of several local community organizations and had the privilege of representing many prominent local families. He was a strong believer in the working man, the underdog and that a sound public education could improve any person’s station in life.
As per his wishes, there will be no memorial services and cremation rights have been accorded.