James Russell Spieler, Dec. 10, 1937 — March 21, 2014, of Columbia

Monday, March 24, 2014 | 5:04 p.m. CDT; updated 5:14 p.m. CDT, Monday, March 24, 2014

James Russell Spieler, Sr., 76, of Columbia, passed away Friday, March 21, 2014, at Boone Hospital Center from complications of pneumonia.

A Celebration of Jim’s Life will be held on Saturday, March 29 at Broadway Christian Church, 2601 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO. Visitation with the family will begin at 9:30 in the Narthex with services at 11. Later in the afternoon, his ashes will be interred in the church’s Memorial Garden.

Jim was the third born child to Herbert H. Spieler and Florence V. (Butler) Spieler on December 10, 1937, in California, MO. He graduated California High School and later the University of Missouri with a degree in Business Administration/Marketing. He married Audrey (Schalk) Spieler of Owensville, MO, on June 11, 1960, and they celebrated 53 years of marriage. Their children are Dr. James R. (Rusty) Spieler, Jr. (Kauai, HI) and Leslie Ann (Spieler) Winn (Rick) of Columbia. Jim delighted in his grandson, Jackson Winn, 14, and was a major presence in his life starting at birth.

His careers included eleven years at the University of Missouri and the UM System serving in development and legislative relations. In 1977, he brought Travelhost Magazine to Columbia, Jefferson City and Lake of the Ozarks while later acquiring the Kansas City edition. He served nine years on the Travelhost Executive Council, and he chaired this Council for four and a half years. In 1988, he received the Omni Award for Excellence at their annual convention. He concluded his years as a Travelhost magazine owner/publisher in 1996 and then established the Columbia Visitor Guide Map.

Jim was also very involved in the community. He gave 15 years of service to his church board, advisory panels, and youth direction; served nearly 10 years on other city advisory boards and commissions, and citizen committees promoting industrial bond issues and economic development; was a Trustee on the Board of the Boone Electric Community Trust; and volunteered as Manager of Memorial Gifts at his church

Jim was a Columbia Chamber of Commerce member and helped establish the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, serving on the CVB Advisory Board for eight years. He also was a member of the Jefferson City Chamber and the Lake Chamber of Commerce.

A devoted Rotarian since 1979 with multiple Paul Harris Fellow designations, he was a founding/charter member of the Rotary South Club in 1989. He served on the Columbia Metro Board of Directors and The Rotary Foundation Committee, and recruited Rotary Youth Leadership Academy students.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents and Bob Spieler, a cousin. He is survived by a brother, Richard H. Spieler (Jane) of California, MO, and a sister, Marthann (Marcie) (Spieler) Buck, of St. Louis, a cousin, Elizabeth of Kansas City, and Bob Spieler’s widow, Betty of St. Louis. He is also survived by nieces and nephews Kim Spieler (Roberta), Cinda Scheidt (Alan), Dana (Spieler) Wilbur (Wes), Charla Gabert (David Frane), Cheryl (Gabert) McConachie.

Memorials are suggested to the Rotary International Polio Plus program, the Central Missouri Food Bank, and Broadway Christian Church, where he was an active and involved member for 35 years.

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