Peter passed away at the University of Alberta Hospital on February 17th, 2019 at the age of 90. He is pre-deceased by parents Christina and John V. Spady, brother Paul Spady, sister Irene McCormick, son Don, and wife Doris. Peter is survived by sister Natalie Snelson; and children Ellen Criss (Bill) and Vernon Spady, grandchildren Josh Criss and Jodi van den Heuvel (Brenden), and great-grandchildren Avery and Colt. A memorial service will be held at the Alliance Community Hall on Sunday, February 24th at 1:00 p.m.
Peter was born in Castor on April 13, 1928, to German immigrants from Norka, Russia. He learned to speak English, but remained bilingual all his life. He met Doris when she was teaching in the Merna area, and they farmed nearby with his parents. Peter was always a creative innovator, willing to be the first to try a new farming method or piece of equipment. Indeed, farming for him started with horses, and progressed to 60 foot cultivators and giant tractors like the Cougar. He was a talented welder and machinist who was able to help many local farmers with their repairs. He and his son Vernon formed the company VP Enterprises, which resulted in many metal sculptures and installations throughout the region.
He spent his entire life in the Alliance area, and he devoted countless hours of his time and talents to serving his community. He was a member of the Alliance Legion #94, and the Alliance Lion’s Club, and he participated in the Community Development Committee. He was an active member of the Alliance United Church, and a founding member of the South Flagstaff Gas Co-op. Many landmarks in the community were built, fixed or installed with Peter’s help. He was involved with the building of the new arena, the foundation of the Battle River Railroad, the installation of video equipment, signs or railings at the library, the church, the community hall, the cemetery, the recreation grounds and on the highway. He could often be found flipping pancakes or burgers at sports days, on Mother’s Day or during Santa Days.
Peter received the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005, which was created to recognize people for their leadership, their hard work, sacrifice and dedication to their communities. Peter and Doris were inducted to the Alliance & District Community Builders Wall of Fame in 2006. VP Enterprises received the Community Spirit Award from Flagstaff County in 2010, and Peter was nominated for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his dedication to the community, province, and country. He truly left his world a better place, and the people of the Alliance region will feel a huge void with his passing.