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Obituary Stories

Creative woman found success in art, cooking, Uber driving

Patrick Varine
| Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, 6:39 p.m.

Carol Spoonhoward's late husband, James Jr., was an old-school guy who believed dinner should be on the table when he came home from work.

But when his wife went to work for C&S Adjustors and didn't come home until 8 p.m. on Mondays, he had to make do.

“My dad made the same thing every Monday night: a pound of hamburger and a box of macaroni and cheese,” son James Spoonhoward III said.

Carol T. (Frye) Spoonhoward of Herminie No. 2 died Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, of complications resulting from illness. She was 73.

Mrs. Spoonhoward was born Feb. 23, 1944, a daughter of the late Elmer R. and Marie (Bohinc) Frye of North Irwin.

James said his mother “could do anything,” especially when it came to being creative.

“She had a lot of her stained glass pieces throughout the house,” he said. “She could make anything.”

In addition to stained glass work, Mrs. Spoonhoward also crocheted, painted, arranged flowers and drew.

James said a camping trip from his teenage years was a perfect example of both his mother's talent and her dedication to family.

“Some friends and I went camping up in Sigel and were getting big rocks to build a fire, and we broke the frame on my car,” he said. “My parents happened to be coming through on their way somewhere else. They took me to Brookville to buy a new car, and while my mom was there, she drew a wildlife picture that I'm pretty sure is still hanging in my friend's hunting camp.”

And while Mrs. Spoonhoward's husband may have had to fend for himself on Monday nights, when she got in the kitchen, she was no slouch.

“She and both my grandmothers were all really good cooks,” James said. “That's how I got into my career as a chef. Even this past Christmas, she and I made a potica, (a Slovenian nut roll), and it was fantastic.”

After retiring as a collector for C&S, Mrs. Spoonhoward worked a few other jobs, and after some persuasion from her son, she decided to try a new one: driving for Uber.

“I knew she would love it,” James said. “She loved being around people.”

Mrs. Spoonhoward would make pickups during the day until it started getting dark.

“She'd come home every single day and tell us about every person,” James said. “Who they were, their life story, where she took them. She just loved it.”

His mother's bubbly personality made her the perfect Uber driver, he said.

“She was very, very sweet,” he said. “No matter what walk of life someone was from, she always made people feel welcome.”

Mrs. Spoonhoward is survived by her son, James B. Spoonhoward III, at home; a daughter, Veronica (Bosch) Tillman, of Pittsburgh; four grandchildren, James B. Spoonhoward IV, at home, Crystal Gantt and Domonique Wilson, of Pittsburgh, and Cherise Gantt, of Jeannette; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were handled by the Joseph W. Nickels Funeral Home Inc. in Herminie. A memorial gathering will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Herminie Fire Hall, 101 Sewickley Ave., Herminie.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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