Former Berkeley assessor recalled as caring and fair

February 22, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Former Berkeley County assessor and Martinsburg City Councilman Mearle Spickler was a kind, generous, soft-spoken man who treated everyone with fairness, family and friends said Monday.

Spickler, 70, died surrounded by family Saturday morning at his Martinsburg home, after a battle with emphysema, his wife of 52 years, Betty, said Monday.

"He was a very special and loved person," Betty Spickler said. The two were high school sweethearts.

Spickler had to resign from his last term as assessor around five years ago because of his medical condition, which worsened in the past two months. Spickler went into respiratory failure and then fell and broke his hip. He was under the care of Hospice of the Panhandle when he died, his wife said.


A sports fan who played football when he was a student at Martinsburg High School, Spickler refereed basketball and football games on the high school and college levels. He also ran an Esso station that later became an Exxon station. The station started out at the intersection of King Street and Maple Avenue in Martinsburg, then moved to North Queen Street, said Martinsburg Mayor George Karos.

"He took care of those customers like he took care of those who came into the assessor's office," Karos said.

At different times in his life, Spickler also bought a bicycle shop and ran a country store, his wife said.

He was a 32nd-degree Mason with the Scottish Rite.

It was Spickler who first joked with Karos that he should run for City Council decades ago, Karos said.

Most of Spickler's life was dedicated to public service, said Karos.

When his wife died around 11 years ago, Karos said the Spicklers insisted he join them for dinner every Wednesday night.

"He was a very dear, close friend," Karos said.

Altogether, Spickler served 19 years as the county's assessor and was president of the state Assessors Association and the recipient of the Ralph Boyles Achievement Award for assessors.

He was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church, where he served on the Church Council, was a member of Martinsburg Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees and Exhausted Roosters and received the Jaycee Distinguished Service Award in 1965.

Along with his wife, Spickler leaves one daughter, Karla D. Troppman of Martinsburg; two sons, Donald L. Spickler of Ohio and Douglas E. Spickler of Martinsburg; two brothers, Chester Spickler and Richard Spickler; two granddaughters; and four nieces and nephews.

Services will be Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church, with burial in Pleasant View Memory Gardens.

The family will receive friends today from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Brown Funeral Home in Martinsburg.

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