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David Richard Spae


David Richard Spae age 63 of Budd Lake, formerly of Wayne, died Sunday, February 12, 2012 at the Hackettstown Hospital.

He was born in Glen Ridge and raised in Wayne having attended Wayne Valley High School with the Class of 1967.

On March 11, 1968 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served in Vietnam and received the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon(Vietnam), Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation w/1 Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/3 Bronze Campaign Stars, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Color w/Palm), Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Actions First Class Color W/Palm), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Rifle Marksman Badge. He was discharged as a Lance Corporal.

His first job was working as a ranch hand when he was 12 years old, for .50 cents per day, at the Tripple O Ranch which was located on the property now known as Willowbrook Mall. He always enjoyed driving trucks and operating heavy equipment. He bought his own Mack truck in 1974 and operated as Dave Spae Trucking in Wayne for several years. He later worked for Wayne Township for 25 years before retiring in 2003.

Dave was a member of the Shongum Sportsmans Association of Hackettstown NJ, a Life Member of the Marine Corps League, a Life Member of the Marine Corps League Det 747 in Sussex NJ, a member of the Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation, a Life Member of the Disabled American Vets, Member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a lifetime member of the NRA and a member of SAS (Single Action Shooting Society).

Dave followed in his father and grandfather's footsteps by joining the Mt. View Community Fire Company. He was a member from 1970-1980. His son Michael completed a four generation run of firefighters at the same company.

He was the kind of guy who was always trying to make you laugh and handed out nicknames like they were going out of style. When you spent time with Dave there was never a dull moment. He loved to cook and it is said his BBQ Rub was fantastic! Dave also loved gardening, had two gardens in his yard at home and would start all of his plantings from seeds in March. He also loved his dogs Misty “The Sheriff”, Ozark “Big Girl”, and Mooney “The Doctor”. All Dave’s dogs were from the Wayne Animal Shelter as it was right next door to the recycling area where he worked for many years.

Dave met his wife Ruth (Fox) while she was working at Mary Jane’s Luncheonette at the Stahl Plaza in Wayne. He proposed in his living room and they were married by the Mayor of Mine Hill as Ruth was a Council Woman there. They had their reception at the New Orleans Steak House in Jefferson.

He was the loving husband of Ruth (Fox) Spae; loving father of Michael Spae and his loving girlfriend Dawn Casale of Wayne, Amelia (Amy) Spae of Wayne, and Jessica Baum and her husband Heath Maxwell of Austin, TX; cherished grandfather of Lanea Baum and Heath Maxwell; loved brother of Diane Norman and her husband Richard of Virginia and their children Jennifer and Jason Norman.

Friends may visit with the family from 4 PM – 7:30 PM on Friday, February 17, 2012. At 7:30 PM, immediately following the visiting hours, friends will be encouraged to share their stories and favorite memories of Dave.

All visitation and services will be held at the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Rd., Wayne.

In lieu of flowers, because Dave would have hated you to send flowers, memorial donations to Friends of Wayne Animals, PO Box 3701, Wayne, NJ 07470 or the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1007, NY, NY 10020 would be appreciated.

Guest Book





love and miss you so much Rip Dad <3 goobey



It's never easy losing someone you love, especially when it is your father. I didn't know him, but I know the good, kind son he raised, so he must have been pretty special. I'm here if you need me. You have my prayers and deepest sympathy. Terry Yost (MVC)

Terry Yost





So sorry to see this. I knew Dave from working in the Parks & Rec for almost 10 years, and I've got say, they just don't come any funnier than him. I didn't run into him every day, but if I did, I'd always stop and talk, because I knew he'd crack me up. So sorry, Amy, for your loss.

Sean Ramsden


Diane & Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time. May the many happy memories of your brother and uncle lift your spirits and lesson the pain.

The Wentzell's - Kurt, Erin, Joshua, Ryan


r.i.p dave,you were truly one of a kind,jutlike you gave out knicknames,ours for you was always wild boar dave(the pet pig incident)love you big guy,you will be missed!!!!!!!!

jeffrey heffernan


God speed my friend.It was my pleasure to know you and work with you at the dpw.One thing for sure is you were never short for words,jokes,or wisecracks.Hope to see you again on the other side someday.

frank sametz


My brother John and I grew up next door to Dave and his family on Alps Road. He and John were life-long friends from the cradle. When they were toddlers my dad built a fenced in area for them to play in, but Dave just sat there and wailed till he was liberated. He used to come up with the most outrageous stories to explain things. One day he came over to ask Mom if his mother could borrow an onion. When Mom asked him what his mother was making, he said, "Onion pie." So Mom asked Dot what was an onion pie like, and she was flabbergasted! He had a pet bantam hen who had a long life in their back yard, laying eggs and crowing, and a dog named Inky who was later nicknamed Ralph Ann. (??!!) He could always make you smile even when you wanted to smack him, as I wanted to when baby sitting for him and Diane. I left NJ in 1969 so I never knew Dave as an adult, but I hear he never changed from that crazy kid we knew. I'm sure the family will miss him, as will my brother.

Karen Holmgren


Amy, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Patti Rhinesmith


Amy, Our Prayers and thoughts are with you and your family at this time.Memoriies are the legacy of love.

Councilman Chris F.McIntyre


God has a special person that he took unto his kingdom...Dave will never be forgotten and always in our hearts..he will be greatly missed Dave and I were 12 years old when we met!!! Lots of wonderful times together..we love him much..Dave you will keep Heven laughing...You will be misses greatly but never forgotten by all of us..GOD BLESS YOU... William"Jabo" &Joanne Jablonski from Florida

William and Joanne jablonski


Amy: My hearfelt condolences to you and your family on the passing of your father. Though I did not have the privilege of knowing him, I'm sure he was a good man. My prayers are with you.

Joseph Klunk


"The Spae Family": Ruth, I am truly sorry for your loss. Michael & Amy please know my heart goes out to you both on the loss of your Dad. I've known your "family" for 37 years. I go back to Fire Co. #1 with them. Your Dad had his "rough edges" but had a sense of humor that couldn't be matched. The pride & love he had for both of you is what I will remember most. When it came to you he was the "Gentle Giant". Be grateful for the time you had with him. Life is short. Remember, Work like you don't need the money, Love like you've never been hurt and dance like nobody's watching, but most of all please know you are both loved more than you know. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Sandy Giannetti


Ruth and family we are so sorry for this loss we know how you all loved this man. Our deepest sympathy. The Mouradian Family

Linda and Sue Mouradian


To the SPAE Family, We feel for your loss, are thinking of you and will keep you in our prayers. We will make a donation to FOWA in Richard's name. Your friends and ladies of the Wayne DVRT



Asta la vista dave. Thank you for all the great memories, a trucking career and so much more. May God bless and comfort your loved ones. Semper Fi Dave and thank you for all your sacfafices. We will all miss you.

robert manuel


It must of been around 1967 when Dave had his light blue `56 Chevy, he says "Come on let's go for a ride, I wanna show ya something" so we drove up past Pompton Lks into Haskell and all along Ringwood Ave Dave is pointing out every driveway that had a pick-up truck w/ a rifle rack mounted in th rear window! I couldn't believe how many we counted that afternoon but I remember laughing non-stop th whole while! I was actually looking forward to seeing ya at your upcoming `67 WVHS Reunion but now, well, maybe th next time we meet will be at th old Army cannon in front of AWJHS. God Bless Ya, Dave -- you were one of a kind! My heartfelt condolences to Dave Spae Family and friends...

Billy C Cooke


Sometimes it hurts when you don't have enough of time to say what should have been said long ago. In the past we may have had a "rocky relationship", but you turned out to be a good friend in the end. I thank you for our two beautiful children - Michael and Amy and I especially thank you for the father that you were. They were your pride and joy. You had a personality that lit up a room. I pray you are at peace and perhaps sitting, smiling and watching all this with a nice big steak and cold beer in your hand. Thanks for all - you will be missed. RIP

Vivian Spae


Amy. I am terribly sorry for your loss. My family will keep you in our thoughts. Be strong.

Ryan Edge


Love you, Uncle Dave....XO

Jennifer Norman


my dad John Holmgren was a very good childhood friend of Dave & i know that he is very sad to hear of Dave's passing. He recently had surgery & may or may not be able to attend the VA services as he would very much like to. He doesn't have the internet so i will post his info here if you would like to contact him: 1375 Fork Creek Mill Rd Seagrove NC 27341 336-625-7485 thank u



Sorry for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time. May god bless you all. The Brennan Family

Jennifer Brennan and Family


you were my childhood friend and I will never forget you.

jeff davis

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