Philip Valen Spears

Friday 4th of September 1936 - Monday 21st of November 2022

Philip Valen Spears

Philip Valen Spears, 86, Professor Emeritus of Business and Economics at Berea College and husband of Judy Green Spears, died November 21, 2022, in Lexington, KY. Phil was born September 4, 1936, in Ashland, KY, to the late Woodridge and Evalena Gilbert Spears. 


He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and English from Georgetown College and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Kentucky. His career included positions with the Kentucky Department of Transportation, Honeywell Inc. and Dupont Inc. In 1968 he joined the faculty at Berea College where he taught business and economics, including service as the Matton Chair of Business, and found his true passion for engaging with students in the pursuit of their career aspirations.  He was an avid fly fisherman, voracious reader and was known for his humor and quick wit.  


He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Judy Green Spears; his daughter Valen Spears and grandchildren Jordan Poff and Lindsay Poff; his son Christopher Spears and daughter-in-law Tracy Spears and grandchildren Grayson McGraw, Camden Spears and Thatcher Spears; sister Sandra Spears; and sister-in-law, Phyllis Brooks Spears. He was preceded in death by his twin brother Richard W. Spears. His family will hold a private celebration of life.  


Special gratitude is expressed to members of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Fire Department and EMS for their kind service and support. 


To share a remembrance of Phil or to offer condolences to his family, please visit milwardfuneral.com to sign the online guest book.

Guest Book

Judy Burris

says

Phil was one of the most distinctively delightful people I have ever known. I am very grateful for all of my times with him. Love and light to the family.

1 day ago

Corbett Wayne Byrd

says

I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Professor Spears. While a student at Berea College, I had Professor Spears for several business and accounting classes. He did challenge his students which served me well. I do remember that for the early morning classes, he had to have a cup of coffee, black, no sugar or cream.

6 days ago

Smith T. Powell, III

says

Phil was a great colleague who brought humor with his serious message. Many students shared with me their sense of gratitude for his efforts on their behalf. Their appreciation, as has mine, has grown with the passage of time. My condolences to the family.

1 week ago

Frank Polion C/O '89

says

Thank you Professor Spears for sharing your wisdom and humor with your students. Your teaching methods were not only profound, but they were life sustaining lessons!! I pray for comfort for your Family and I want to convey my deepest and sincerest condolences!! You've made a difference and impact for so many!!

1 week ago

Glenn Jennings

says

I learned this afternoon of Phil Spears passing. I am so sorry and send my heart felt condolences to Judy, Valen and Chris. I started at Berea College in the fall of 1968 and majored in business. I had many classes with Phil and it was my study under him, especially in accounting areas, that led to me becoming a CPA. I owe a great debt to Phil and will always remember my time with him. His guidance was significant in helping shape my direction. We were friends after college and I am so blessed to have known Phil and counted him among my friends. I lift his family up in prayer as they and I mourn his passing.

1 week ago

Jim Huddleston

says

My condolences to Judy and the family. Phil was obviously a very memorable person. He taught you about the subjects while educating you about how things sometimes work. I think that was lost on a lot of students but some of us got.

1 week ago