Retired Bishop Spears dies – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Retired Bishop Spears dies

The Rt. Rev. Robert R. Spears Jr., '40, D.D.'69, an honorary trustee of these Colleges, died Tuesday, March 18; he was 89.

A member of the 1940 lacrosse team, Druids and Phi Phi Delta fraternity during his undergraduate years, Spears earned his theology degree from the Episcopal Church's General Theological Seminary in 1943. He served on the HWS Board of Trustees from 1971 to 1984, and had been an Honorary Trustee since then.

Spears headed the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester from 1970 to 1984. He favored ordaining women as priests before that action was approved in 1976, and spoke and worked to include lesbian and gay people into church life.

Since his retirement 24 years ago, Spears remained active in the church community. He is survived by his wife, Charlotte, three children and three grandchildren.

Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 22 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 2000 Highland Ave., Rochester.