The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.


April 4, 2012

Obituaries - Thursday, April 5, 2012


Carl Spearen

Carl Edgar Spearen died on a windy, sunny afternoon, while burning blackberry vines, March 30, 2012.

Carl was born on April 5, 1923, at Cassidy Branch, the son of the late John and Effie Cottle Spearen. He also was preceded in death by his siblings, John Donavan Spearen, Mary Elizabeth “Ash” Brooks, L.W. Lawrence Spearen, Horace Spearen, and Susie Spearen Rogers; and a grandson, Reese Todd Spearen.

Carl Edgar was born and raised in Dempsey, where he was introduced to local music and worked a paper route to buy his first guitar.

When Carl was of age, he entered the military. He served four years during World War II with the Army Air Force and returned home to marry Pet.

Carl and Pet moved to East Bank where they started their family of five. Carl worked as an insurance salesman for Kentucky Central Insurance and later seized a business opportunity with an ESSO Service Station on Route 60. This venture led to Spearen’s Truck Stop, Spearen’s Car Wash, Spearen’s Market, and Carl’s Diner where you could get 10 hot dogs for $1. He provided a venue for musicians and managed bands such as the Rolling Rockets. Carl’s wife and children were an integral part in the success of these businesses. He instilled in them an impeccable work ethic. 

Carl’s sharp business sense allowed him to retire at 50 years of age. He returned to his home in Dempsey where he purchased over 100 acres of land.

He picked up right where he left off and began playing music. He learned music theory and gained the recognition of master musicians all over the bluegrass circuit, including Rosanne Cash. “The Colonel’s” passion for music led him various places and he mentored many musicians.

The effect his life had on the people whom he loved, worked and played with is immeasurable and he will be missed greatly.

Surviving: his loyal and loving wife of 65 years, Pet Nutter Spearen; children, Carl Edgar (Eddie) Spearen II and wife Dorothy, Pamela Kay Mullins and husband Stephan, Susan Annette Spearen, Barbara Ann Sigman and husband Duckie, and Gregg Laine Spearen and wife Mary Ellen; 11 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. 

The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at the family home place at 660 Cassidy Branch Road at Dempsey.

Funeral services were April 3 at the family home place at Dempsey, with military rites conducted by American Legion Post 149. Burial followed on his home place.

Those wishing to express condolences, send flowers, or send a unique gift to Mr. Spearen’s family may do so by visiting

Arrangements by Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville.

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