Chester N. Spicer, 82, owned auto repair shop

February 22, 2004

Chester N. "Bill" Spicer, founder and owner of a Freeland auto repair and parts business, died of a stroke Monday at York Hospital in York, Pa. He was 82.

The Freeland native attended Baltimore County public schools until leaving to help support his family after the death of his father. As a youth, he showed an aptitude for fixing automobiles and rebuilding engines.

After World War II service with an Army artillery unit in the Philippines, Luzon and Guadalcanal, Mr. Spicer established Spicer Motors and B&M Auto Parts on Middletown Road in 1946. He also enjoyed stock car racing and built cars and engines for race car driver Kemp Beaumont, with whom he had been a partner, family members said.

"He had gasoline for blood and was still working at his death. He was a problem solver and when it came to cars, he could always fix them," said his wife of 53 years, the former Mary Ellen Walter, a partner in the business.

Mr. Spicer enjoyed attending auto races at tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region. "He always wanted to be in the pit helping the drivers out. He never wanted to race himself, but he loved hearing the sweet sound of those engines," Mrs. Spicer said.

He was a member of the American Legion Post in Hampstead and the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in New Freedom, Pa. He was also a member of a preservation society for the old Bowling Green Speedway in New Jersey.

Mr. Spicer attended Mason-Dixon Baptist Church in New Freedom, where services were held Friday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Spicer is survived by a son, W. Scott Spicer of New Freedom; three brothers, Samuel S. Spicer of New Freedom, Robert L. Spicer of York and Norman Spicer of Freeland; and a granddaughter.

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