Harry C. Spies
Harry C. Spies
  • 61 years old
  • Date of birth: Apr 25, 1952
  • Date of passing: Dec 16, 2013
  • Place of passing:
    San Diego, California, United States
You have touched so many lives and will be missed by everyone you didn't piss off.

In loving memory of Col Harry C. Spies USMC (Ret)
April 25, 1952 - December 16, 2013

Harry was interred on January 3, 2014 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.  He is located in Section 12B, Row 1, Niche 6 (http://4sq.com/JSlqe1).  The niche can be challenging to find; try inputting these coordinates 32.689603, -117.243634 into your GPS and it's basically like geocaching, except you don't get to take Harry home.  

Thank you to everyone for their love and support over the past two years.  We think of him each and every day and miss getting to tell him stories, ask for advice, and share jokes.

Please still consider a donation to one of the following in Harry's memory:

Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation

National Museum of the Marine Corps

The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation

Thank you for sharing Harry with us over the years and we hope to continue to share his memory with you into the future.  Feel free to post pictures and stories from any time, including the memorial and celebration.

With love, Jeanie, Brian, Kate, and Ali

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Keith Stalder on 26th April 2016

"The world needs you more than ever Harry.  And your friends and family miss you each day.  I think of you often and wonder "what would Harry think about....?"  Your influence and effect on those who knew and loved you is a wonderful thing that lives on and on.  I'll see you again someday, I hope."

This tribute was added by Wayne Luster on 25th April 2016

"Gone but, never forgotten...I have yet to meet anyone wiser than you!
Until we meet again...leave the light on for me!"

This tribute was added by Mike Marriott on 15th March 2016


Kind of an arbitrary day to post a tribute, but I found myself thinking of you and how much I miss your mentorship.

  Continue watching over all your friends and family.

Semper Fi,

This tribute was added by Bonnie Davis on 17th December 2015

"Two years have passed and it seems like only yesterday.  His loss has left a hole in our family.  Sadly missed,"

This tribute was added by Keith Stalder on 17th December 2015

"So many of us are thinking of you today and every day Harry.  We miss you and think of you often.  Keep us on track and blessings to Jeanie, Brian, Kate, and Ali who carry on so well for you.  God bless and Semper Fi, Shadow"

This tribute was added by MaryAnne Barney on 17th December 2015

"Harry, you are missed every day. Jeanie, Brian, Kate, and Ali, prayers of comfort and peace to you. Your family is thinking of you."

This tribute was added by Willaim Nyland on 16th December 2015

"Harry, you are a truly great Marine and Patriot and you are sorely missed.  God Bless you, Jeannie and the family.  Semper Fidelis, Spider"

This tribute was added by Crazy Bruce Stevens on 16th December 2015

"When I was suffering from Bipolarism Harry was always there with an encouraging word. He is missed by all who knew him as a friend. "Sunshine" Stevens."

This tribute was added by Steve Fisher on 16th December 2015

"Loved by everyone he touched. A wonderful friend, Marine and patriot. Harry is one of my all-time heroes!! Semper Fi, Steve"

This tribute was added by Rick Ludwig on 16th December 2015

"God bless you Harry. You and thought old and remembered as one fine human being and friend."

This tribute was added by jon davis on 16th December 2015

"Harry was one of my always "at the ready" mentors and advisors.  He was always ready to weigh in on any subject no matter how complex.  One of the nicest, smartest and best Marines I ever knew.
Semper Fi
LtGen Dog Davis, Deputy Commandant Aviation"

This tribute was added by Chuck Antonio on 25th April 2015

"Harry, just to let you know, I am still using the wisdom you shared with me in supporting the men and women flying USN and USMC aircraft. Thinking of you and the family. Respectfully, Doc"

This tribute was added by Scott Leitch on 25th April 2015

We miss you, your wit, your wisdom and your friendship.
Your Roomie,

This tribute was added by Willaim Nyland on 25th April 2015

"God Bless you Harry - we miss you.  Semper Fidelis, Spider"

This tribute was added by Keith Stalder on 25th April 2015

"Thinking of you today and always, Harry.  Keep us all on glide slope from there and know you are in our prayers.  We miss you.  Semper Fi, Shadow"

This tribute was added by Lois Williams on 25th April 2015

"Happy Birthday Harry......"

This tribute was added by Curt Ames on 23rd December 2014

"Missing the quick words of advise but I know you are looking over all of us and kicking us in the right direction.....Curt"

This tribute was added by Chuck Antonio on 18th December 2014

"We are thinking of Harry but also of Jeannie and the family during the holiday season.  Julie and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.  You are fortunate to have good memories of times past, and also the opportunity to create new ones for the future.  From the doctor with no brain!"

This tribute was added by Mike Trabun on 16th December 2014

"Miss you Harry.  Think of you often."

This tribute was added by Bonnie Davis on 16th December 2014

"sorely missed this past year, your leaving has left a hole in the family that cannot be filled, you are in my prayers as is your family"

This tribute was added by Dan Donoghue on 16th December 2014

"Think of you often, classmate.  Great example in so many ways.  God bless you and your family.   Dan"

This tribute was added by john shinnick on 16th December 2014

You are in my prayers at daily mass.  I'm sure you and "Mini" are recalling many adventures.
S/F  shindog"

This tribute was added by Keith Stalder on 16th December 2014

"The world needs you more than ever Harry, keep us out of trouble and be with us when we need help and wisdom.  You are greatly missed, Semper Fi, Shadow"

This tribute was added by Mike Marriott on 16th December 2014


  It's been a year since you left us.  Not a day goes by were I don't think to myself "What would Harry say or do about this or that"....and you always provide me with the answer!  

  Thanks for keeping overwatch on me and your family! You are missed.

Be well and rest easy Harry,

This tribute was added by Rick Ludwig on 16th December 2014

"God Bless and keep you Harry!  You are missed. Be well!"

This tribute was added by Rick Rezabek on 16th December 2014


You continue to be an inspiring leader for many of us. I think of you always, and many times wonder 'what would Harry do and think of this?'"

This tribute was added by Keith Stalder on 10th November 2014

"Happy Birthday Harry, you were a great Marine."

This tribute was added by John Rupp on 27th May 2014

"A belated Happy Birthday to you Harry.  I thank you for all your advice and wise counsel out at 3D MAW and at HQMC.  I think about you often, and I try to provide the sage advice to others that you provided to me.  My best wishes to Jeannie and your family this summer.

Semper Fi, Pappy"

This tribute was added by Ken Gathercole on 1st May 2014

"Dearest Jeanie, It was with such overwhelming sadness that I read about Harry's passing in the latest issue of Shipmate. I have such fond memories of all the countless adventures that we all shared aboard "Jubilee III" during our Academy years, along with Dick and Jane Tracy, "Wags," Clay and "Zorro." He was, without a doubt, one of the "good guys," fun-loving and full of life, a true and reliable friend, and a great sailor! One of my most memorable times at "Boat School" was when he and I co-captained one of the Luder yawls during First Class year. It was such a great time for both of us. I am beyond happy to know that the both of you went on to marry and build a life together. No one deserved each other more. He was certainly "one of a kind." And although we didn't stay in touch after graduation, which I now deeply regret, the world feels a little less brighter without him. I remember all the good times that we shared like they were yesterday. I miss those good times. And I miss him....
     Know that I will keep you, Brian, Kate and Ali in my thoughts and in my prayers. God bless...
     With much love, "Gator""

This tribute was added by Curt Ames on 27th April 2014

"Miss giving you a call and receiving your short words of wisdom.  There is a spot at the taproom for anyone that wants to talk about Harry and a toast of him daily....."

This tribute was added by Keith Stalder on 26th April 2014

"You are greatly missed on your birthday and every other day Harry.  The world and all of us in it still need so much of what you gave to life.  Thankfully, those of us lucky enough to know you still benefit from your wisdom, compassion, and leadership.  Keep doing it from there.  Semper Fi, Shadow"

This tribute was added by Chuck Antonio on 25th April 2014

"Happy Birthday Harry.  If you keep pressing everyone there for answers to questions they may kick you out - and then where will you go?"

This tribute was added by Q Pham on 25th April 2014

"Missing you dearly, Harry!!"

This tribute was added by Martin POst on 25th April 2014

"Happy Birthday Skipper, saw a lot of the Bengals in P-Cola at the Intruder Association Reunion in early April. Told some lies and raised our glasses to you old friend."

This tribute was added by Neil Zerbe on 25th April 2014

"While attending an Aerospace & Defense Industry event this last week, ended up chatting with another longtime friend of Harry's.  We shared stories of our times with him and how much we missed his savvy in helping industry connect with USMC to ensure the best of what our industry has to offer gets into the hands of the those who need it the most.  Harry and I share this passion and his credibility with those in senior leadership was second to none.  We miss him and will continue this passion as long as we are able."

This tribute was added by Mike Marriott on 25th April 2014

"Happy Birthday Harry! I miss you everyday! I'll be having a double shot latte in your honor today. Rest easy my friend. Semper Fi!"

This tribute was added by Madeline mdanza6@yahoo.comSpies on 7th January 2014

"Very sorry to hear of the loss of my nephew Harry.  We were sorry to lose contact with him after his father's death.  Harry did send us an email when my husband Eugene passed.

My children Gary, Glenn and Janet and myself pray for your family.  

Madeline Spies"

This tribute was added by Debbie Webb on 5th January 2014

"Harry was a friend and a mentor, and one of those select "inner circle" folks who I went to for advice.  He always took time, and always listened.  I am a better person for having known him.  Rest in peace Harry - you are missed by many."

This tribute was added by John Melear on 3rd January 2014

"A friend and mentor whose unique style will be profoundly missed."

This tribute was added by Donna West on 2nd January 2014

"Harry was such a bright light with a huge heart – he was a “force” and was very smart.  It was a joy to be in his presence, to listen to his stories or just talk. It was always a great day when Harry came to our office; his voice boomed throughout and I loved hearing it. The thought that we never hear his voice again is very sad. His wife and children were so lucky to have him for a husband and father; it must have been a great ride."

This tribute was added by Verena Vomastic on 28th December 2013

"Harry was like a brother to me. Having first met him in 1985 working in Naval aviation, our paths kept crossing throughout the remaining years of his military career. Harry was a visionary leader, a great friend, and a true warrior. Love and light until we meet again, dear friend."

This tribute was added by Robert Park on 27th December 2013

"What a force to be reckoned with in all categories of life: husband, father, Marine, and mentor.  You will be missed and surely remembered by many.  I stand at attention and salute you as you stand forever At Ease.  S/F."

This tribute was added by Steve Hubble on 24th December 2013

"I first met Harry when he was a Major and I was Captain working for Gen Hearney as his Aide at 2dMAW. Harry was a great mentor to me since, both professionally and personally. Rest in peace my friend. You will be sorely missed by many, but will never be forgotten."

This tribute was added by David J. Karl on 23rd December 2013

"I first met Harry as he was making the transition from an organization that was highly organized, disciplined and efficient (USMC) to one that abounded in creative chaos and was utterly resistant to centralized direction (the Pacific Council).  It was a learning process for us all.  In his first weeks at PCIP, he would send email containing the acronym "NLT" that mystified the rest of the staff.  In time, we became a more focused group due to his leadership.

Harry was much liked and well respected by his PCIP colleagues.  He was a fair-minded boss who impressed us with his concern for staff morale.  I recall him telling me several times that "you have to take care of your people."  I learned several big life lessons from him, but this is the one that struck me the most.

I hope the sadness of the Spies family will be relieved a bit by knowing a great many people regarded Harry as a good man and a good friend."

This tribute was added by Tony White on 23rd December 2013

"I only met Harry through the mark he left at many of my shipmates lives here at Power Ten, and those of our clients.  Regrets we never met in person.

To the Spies Family I wish you Peace during this difficult time.

To Harry, Thanks for your service to our nation, your mentorship of my colleagues, and I wish you Fair Winds and Following Seas.

Semper Fi~"

This tribute was added by erika massery on 23rd December 2013

"I was privileged to meet Harry at the Power Ten Christmas parties with my husband. He was so down to earth and kind...a truly inspiring individual.  I feel blessed to have met Harry and thankful that my husband ended up working for such an incredible company. Many blessings and sincere prayers to the Spies Family."

This tribute was added by Ed Horst on 22nd December 2013

"Condolences to you Jeannie and family.A great guy,but you knew that already.Classmate,track harrier and another Greenbrook friend from across the brook that divded our towns.Harrry was that kind of spirit that greeted one with a smile that made you think,"what a great shit eating smile/grin".Many memories from our school days together.he will be missed by many.Another vetern who served to keep our country free.I salute you Col.Harry Spies.Another guardian at post,you may now relax soldier.Peace."

This tribute was added by Mark Schultz on 21st December 2013

"My condolences to Jeanie and the family.  Harry was a prince of a man which is underscored by the many he touched and have paid him tribute.  When he was the  Commanding Officer of MACG-38, Harry took the time from his busy schedule to meet and provide me some guidance.  We had never met previously, and I was not a member of his command.  I have never forgotten his support.   Our friendship continued from that time and after the Corps.  I always valued his advice and mentorship.  His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of many.  Semper Fi."

This tribute was added by brock gibson on 21st December 2013

"A great man and our heartfelt prayers go out to Harry's family and all who knew him.
Brock & Diana Gibson"

This tribute was added by Tim Born on 21st December 2013

"Harry was one of those rare forces of nature who knew how to have a good time, and bring everybody else along with him.  One couldn’t help but admire his unmatched zest for life, keen intellect, quick wit, mischievous smile and the perpetual twinkle in his eyes.  As has been said of another great man, Harry "had every gift but the gift of time."

It’s been years since I last saw Harry in the Pentagon, but like many others I treasured every moment we shared together, particularly two Midshipmen summers spent on the slopes of Mt McKinley. His legacy of service, commitment and caring for his Marines, friends and family serve as a beacon to us all.

Perhaps Winston Churchill described Harry best when he once said: “You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give.” My life, like so many others, was deeply enriched by knowing Harry. He made the world a special place, and I will miss him.

God Bless you and your family Jeannie, and we hope you can take comfort in knowing that on embarking on his final High Flight, Harry has “slipped the surly bonds of earth… and touched the face of God”

Semper Fi, Harry.           Tim"

This tribute was added by Rick Rezabek on 21st December 2013

"I met Harry through Russ Stromberg, and within the first hour at lunch, knew he was one of the rare people who shared our same feelings of honor and integrity. All of us who worked with Harry knew we were getting the straight scoop, and his motives were for the genuine good of all. He was brilliant in his insights for nearly any subject, and someone I felt honored to be considered his friend. People like Harry come along in our lives only a few times, and I will always be better with the perspective he gave me. What would Harry do, will serve me well, and all of us that spent our too small time with him."

This tribute was added by Richard Maus on 20th December 2013

"When told of my cousin's passing, the years when we both were kids seems like it was just yesterday. In the woods, fishing, camping and especially when all the cousins were together, just being kids and enjoying life. It was many years after his dad's passing (Uncle Harry)  when Harry and I met again, in the Control Tower at Cherry Point 1976. Two new Marine pilots came to the tower and one Lt. asked this Controller a question. I knew that voice anywhere; without turning around I said, "where have you been Harry". How history repeats itself in strange ways. My Dad and his Dad met and became best of friends in the Marines "G 1/7" WWII; and Dad marring Uncle Harry's sister who also was a Marine. Wish we both more like our fathers, not letting anything to come inbetween to take away those most valuable years as cousins and Marine Brothers. Maybe history will repeat itself again within the family with our daughters; both Officers servng as their fathers and grandfathers did and meet at a Military Base somewhere..... Semper Fi Cousin and have a extra bottle of Rum standing by; (not that home made country cider our fathers claimed it was, they made)"

This tribute was added by ernie Boling on 20th December 2013

"A classmate a friend and a fellow Marine. Deb and I  have missed being with with you and Jeannie. Now we will have to wait until we meet again.           Semper Fi."

This tribute was added by greg massery on 20th December 2013

"My wife and I are deeply saddened by your loss.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you each and everyday during your hard time.

I have only known Harry for a short time, to begin back in late 2009.  At that time, by only fault of my own, I was in a 'rough-spot' but was still granted the privilege to work with harry on the MATSS contract.  Without getting in to details, I felt like I couldn't breath because of the position in which I had put myself.  4 years later (present) I have a beautiful wife and 2 wonderful children, own a beautiful home and nice vehicle; the truth is that I would not be in this place if Harry had not given me the opportunity.  Harry provided the gateway to not only let me breath again, but he 'let me fly'.  

We (my family) are forever grateful for his life.  I will see you soon, Friend, God bless."

This tribute was added by Lois Williams on 20th December 2013

"Very sorry to hear of the loss of my cousin Harry " Little Harry" as we all called him.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.                

Lois Williams"

This tribute was added by Tom Adams on 20th December 2013

"It was certainly with heavy heart that I learned of Harry's passing.  I remember when Harry first checked in to 121.  He was immediately identified as one of young new guys to keep an eye on because of his dedication, competence, personality and spirit.  Harry and I were flying an A6 one day over the western desert area when we were asked if we would like to do some ACM with a MIG.  Of course we said yes and we held our own pretty good in the Intruder.  Harry was simply a great Marine officer, NFO and commander who earned the respect of all who knew him.  It was an honor to have served with this good man."

This tribute was added by Bob Loiselle on 20th December 2013

"It’s tough to find the right words in a situation like this.  I first got to know and appreciate Harry when we worked together at Shee Atika Technologies.  Working with Harry was not work, it was fun and invigorating.  Harry set the standard for all of us.  I was looking forward to further collaboration once he recovered, but very sadly that was not to be.  One of the greatest accolades I ever received was to have Harry Spies call me a friend.  No prize or award could match that. My heartfelt sympathy goes out his family, as well as my gratitude for sharing Harry with us.  My sympathy and best wishes also go out to the team at Power Ten.  I’m sure you will carry on Harry’s great work.  For me, Harry will continue to guide my actions.  Whenever faced with a tough decision, I’ll ask myself “what would Harry do”, because what Harry would do would be the right thing."

This tribute was added by Steve Foster on 20th December 2013

"99 Intruder sent by Col Carr
It is with sadness that I announce the final launch of our squadron mate and friend Colonel Harry Spies. Surrounded by his wife Jeanie and family Harry left us 16 December at Balboa Hospital, CA. Beginning with graduation from the USNA until retirement Harry represented what was the very best in a Marine officer. His leadership ensured success for VMA(AW) 224 and MACG 36 when he was their Commanding Officer. In addition his time at VX 5 was marked by tactical skill as well as leadership in both  air and ground. Colonel Harry Spies passing creates a very large hole the the Corps daily muster. Family arrangements will be forthcoming and will be announced in the following link:
God Bless the Spies family and Semper Fi.

This tribute was added by Jo-Anne Maus on 20th December 2013

"So sorry to hear of the loss of my cousin Harry. I have not seen him in many years, but have many fond memories shared in Mt Vernon NJ at my Uncle Harry's house.

Tommie Maus"

This tribute was added by Jeff Davis on 20th December 2013

"A tremendous Marine, who set the bar high and encouraged, helped, and mentored everyone to reach that standard.  The MACCS benefitted greatly from your perspective, leadership, and vision.  I am forever grateful to have served under his leadership, and been the recipient of his wisdom and mentorship at many ranks and ages.  Jeanie, God Bless and Semper Fidelis."

This tribute was added by Cliff Russell on 20th December 2013

"We spent a year together at SAIS Johns Hopkins, and Harry will always be remembered as a true class act.  Approachable, charismatic, dedicated, the kind of guy who always made time for others (even Air Force guys).  We shared a few tactical military stories in the hallways, but more importantly embraced the opportunity we had at SAIS, fighter pilots totally out of our element, yet cognizant of the important flags we carried even off the field as military aviators.  Harry, it was an honor and a pleasure, fly safe my friend."

This tribute was added by John Pilley on 19th December 2013

"In June, 1974 Harry saved my life. He was not conscious of it at the time; in fact he was barely conscious at all. Here is the story: I was teaching at the Naval Academy at the time and was the officer rep. of the "Sportsman's Club". We made two attempts to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska and this event happened on the second try. We had little leave time so were climbing faster than we should have been. At about 12,000 ft Harry developed cerebral adema and lapsed into semi-consciousness. I sent the rest of my team on, got Harry packed up, and took him down to 10,500 to await the bush pilot. The weather turned bad and we were two days in a tent until a slight clearing alowed the pilot to land. We were ready but Harry wouldn't get on the plane until I took his pocket knife. The weather was closing in again and the pilot was threatening to leave so I took the knife, put in my wind pants pocket and, saying goodbye, started up the mountain. I won't go into all the details but a couple of days later I fell, alone and unroped, into a cravass. I "jammed" myself between the ice walls and stopped falling about 8 ft down. There was nothing but blackness below and my walls opened out just below me into a huge cavern. Again, to shorten the story, about a half hour later I was starting to shake and weaken; my knife, crampons, anything I could use to extricate myself, were inaccessable in my pack (which miraculously had stuck to a little shelf). Contemplating the darkness below I suddenly remembered Harry's knife which was accessible in my pocket. I took it out, cut steps in the ice and am here to tell about it. Harry does not remember any of this.
We were good friends. On my last day of being CO of VMA(AW)-202, Harry flew in from the west coast for the change of command and was with me drinking wine at the O'Club until midnight. There are not many who reach the level of human being that Harry reached. My life, besides being saved by him, was also greatly enriched. I'll see you on the other side, my friend."

This tribute was added by Scott Craig on 19th December 2013

"Another great Marine who will be guarding the Gates of Heaven.  Keep it safe for us all, Harry."

This tribute was added by Dwayne Junker on 19th December 2013

"My colleague and friend, who I will always remember for having wrung every bit of truly living life from the all-too-brief time he spent with us. You set the standard, Harry - we can only hope to honor you by doing the same..."

This tribute was added by Alan Sullivan on 19th December 2013

"If the significance of a person's life can be measured by how vividly and positively he is remembered by those who came into contact with him, Harry surely had a major impact wherever he went.  His brilliant wit and piercing insights were a joy to behold.  Harry's commitment to the Corps and her Marines was without bound.  We are all poorer for Harry's passing.  Kathy and I extend our sympathy and prayers to Jeanie and the family."

This tribute was added by Tom Sulick on 19th December 2013

"Harry, always a clear thinker and planner.  A real friend with good advice and he loved the Intruder as did we all.  God Bless you and your family.  Be with Him and save us who follow a place.


This tribute was added by john shinnick on 19th December 2013

"I am so sorry to hear of your passing.  I remember fondly when we served together in 3dMAW - you were aide to MGen LeBlanc and I was the staff suck ( as you so aptly described my billet). You and Jeanie defined the grace, organization and good humor required of an often thankless task. Say hello to Leo and Mini.  S/F shindog"

This tribute was added by Jim Thigpen on 19th December 2013

"Harry was a great American in every way.  As a fellow Group CO,  he brought a wealth of ideas and leadership to our community.  And as a fellow WTI,  I saw that thought leadership from him at a very early stage.  A life well lived - he will be sorely missed."

This tribute was added by Christy Trabun on 19th December 2013

"The thing about Harry that stands out most to me is that he had this unique ability to see things in people, and in you, that others didn’t see – often the things that you couldn’t even see in yourself.  He saw a potential, and he believed it for you and encouraged you in it until you achieved it.  He was a phenomenal mentor for this, and all the reasons others have listed.  We were so sad to hear of his passing, and it’s hard to believe anything could have actually gotten Harry Spies, a fighter and optimist to the end.  Thanks for sharing him with us Jeanie, Brian, Katie, and Ali!  Praying for all of you as Christmas approaches."

This tribute was added by Keith Stalder on 19th December 2013

"Harry is a model of so much that we all aspire to; loving husband and father, friend, Marine, warrior, the consummate leader, aviator extraordinaire, visionary and down to earth, brilliant and practical, the list is long and inspiring.  We all give thanks that he lived and made the world a better place that we were blessed to share for an all too short period of time.  Blessings and prayers to Jeanie, Brian, Kate, and Ali.  Harry, keep an eye on all of us until we see you again.  Semper Fi, Shadow"

This tribute was added by jon davis on 19th December 2013

"I will never forget Harry Spies.  He was brilliant, selfless and always went out of his way to help his fellow Marines (me included).  He improved our Corps' ability to fight.  He did his level best to make me a smarter Marine.  Very sad to learn of his passing.   Semper Fi, Dog"

This tribute was added by Lauren Engle on 19th December 2013

"Harry was an incredible mentor and father figure, who took a risk on a girl with no job experience and taught me more about business and life than any Master's program ever could. He brought out the best in people with his strategically brilliant mind and deeply caring heart. He made people feel special and important, even the lowest man on the totem pole. Every meal with Harry was a feast and every story an epic tale.  I love you Harry.

Sending my love and sympathy to Jeanie, Brian, Kate and Ali."

This tribute was added by Tugg Thomson on 19th December 2013

"I had the great privilege of serving with Harry in VX-5.  Great American, great Marine and one of the funniest people I ever knew.  His clarity when issues would pop up was almost shocking.  I wish I knew him better, but I’m glad I knew him as well as I did."

This tribute was added by Michael Crimmins on 19th December 2013

"Two classic 70's memories of Harry back in VMA(AW)-121 at Cherry Point.
1. Harry flying with the Wing CG (an A-4 pilot) and when they landed the A-6, the CG over rotated past 21 units when aerodynamically breaking the aircraft and scraped the skeg. Sparks went up the main fuel dump ignited the fuel and blew the turtle back off the aircraft just aft of the canopy. Both exited the A-6 running down the wings. Both survived death on that boo-boo but an aircraft accident you say? Heck no but Harry paid dearly in kangaroo court.
2. Both Harry and I were shanghaied by the CO of 121 to race on his boat as impressed crew as we both had extensive experience from racing at USNA. The Skipper was recovering from an operation so he requested the two of us to race his boat or else. We complied and promptly broke the mast, dropping it into the Neuss River. Skipper was none too pleased with his two B/N's as we were explaining that at the foot of his hospital bed.

Harry exemplified "servant leadership" and will be sorely missed. Gone but not forgotten way too soon!"

This tribute was added by Doug Sayers on 18th December 2013

"Godspeed Harry...you leave a great legacy.  Your family, friends and shipmates look forward to meeting up on the other side."

This tribute was added by Steve Swazee on 18th December 2013

"You know you are in the Marine Corps when….you just checked into your first fleet squadron and:
- Harry Spies is your right seat for the entire first month, and
- You get to witness Harry conducting office hours (CO/XO at Red Flag).

You were a gentleman, scholar, teacher, and most of all, a United States Marine in the truest sense. Rest In Peace.  

My prayers and thoughts with family."

This tribute was added by roy rogers on 18th December 2013

"Thoughts and prayers to the family.  Harry will be in our thoughts for a very long time - someone who actually made a difference.  Best VX-5/9 COTD ever.  An incredibly smart guy with a huge injection of logic and common sense.  I'm pretty sure the reason he left us so early was that Mini Mott needed someone else to conspire with up there."

This tribute was added by Lindsay Morgan on 18th December 2013

"Harry, you always seemed to skim above the currents that push and pull at so many of the rest of us, always had your eye on the horizon, on the longer view. And everyone who knew you were better for it. We'll miss you Harry.

--Lindsay (former colleague at the Pacific Council)"

This tribute was added by Jay Anderson on 18th December 2013

"A calm voice of reason when we were in the Marine mafia in OSD.  Asked the hard questions when we were Group COs.  The perpetual smile and terrific intellect.  A Marine through and through.  Part of his legacy lives on in the Marines he taught, led, mentored, and befriended.  He and Jeanie made an indelible mark on the San Diego military community.  Go with God, my friend.  Semper Fidelis."

This tribute was added by Alan Lerchbacker on 18th December 2013

"Harry, I know you are still here with us watching as we slide on down the mess hall of life!  Classmate I miss you.  Stay with us as we BEAT ARMY two more times in a row and we are first to 60.  I am just sorry we never got to work together, but hell, playing together is so much better anyway."

This tribute was added by John Duhnke on 18th December 2013

You were the model B/N... we all emulated you!
P.S. In respect/fear of retribution I will not use your call sign that we feared and loved!!"

This tribute was added by Bonnie Davis on 18th December 2013

"Harry was family, he was my brother-in-law and whenever we were able to visit, Harry could be counted on for good conversation, great fun and wonderful food. In the words of one of my daughters, Harry was awesome. Harry will be missed by all in the family. Jean, Brian, Kate, and Ali, we are here for you. Aunt Bonnie"

This tribute was added by Steve Foster on 18th December 2013

"A voice from the past.  Our thoughts are with our Grande Island roommates family.  Good times from the Golden Years. Best S4 Captain in the business.  Always got 121 where they needed to go. Pictures added."

This tribute was added by Neil Zerbe on 18th December 2013

"I consider myself very fortunate to have known Harry.  Life always took an upturn when you were with Harry.  Very thankful for his service to this nation both in uniform and out.  He will be remembered always as the decent, salt of the earth person he was - an example of how it should be done."

This tribute was added by Jay Holden on 18th December 2013

"Harry Spies...one of the cadre of officers of VMA(AW)-121 that always lived up to our 'Corps creed that "Marines take care of their own"! He was a respected leader but a friend to the "enlisted man". I will remember him well for coaching our squadron's softball team when we kicked everybody's ass and were undefeated during our WestPac tour ('77-78) while stationed in Iwakuni. I never saw him after 1979 until the A-6 reunion at Cherry Point and he treated me like a long, lost friend! He will be missed by all of us but I know I speak for all that we are and will be continued to be blessed for our association and friendship with him. I will not bid you "adieu", sir for I know that in due time we will meet again 'cause we will find "the streets of heaven" guarded by you!!! My sincere sympathies and prayers to your family! Harry Spies..."GREEN KNIGHT, FOREVER"!!!"

This tribute was added by Rusty Jones on 18th December 2013

"Harry, the news of your passing hit hard.  Your passion for excellence, for winning, for service to your Corps has always been admired, particularly by your fellow Marines.  Our lives are richer thanks to the likes of Harry Spies."

This tribute was added by Mike Trabun on 18th December 2013

"Harry was an exemplary and loyal leader. An encourager. A staunch defender. He was a mentor who dispensed some of my life's most important advice. One of those people on this earth from whom I took comfort because I knew he always had my back if I needed him...and he was that same man for many, many others. I loved him like he was my dad. To say he's sorely missed is an understatement."

This tribute was added by Steve Fisher on 18th December 2013

"Harry was a dear friend to us all. He always had time for another Marine. Whenever we met, he had a smile, a heartfelt greeting." I'll drink a toast to a fine man and great Marine!! You are missed. Semper Fi Harry, Steve"

This tribute was added by Wayne Luster on 18th December 2013

"A Leader, who entrusted us to make timely and deliberate decisions.  He allowed us to be creative and "think outside of the box". He was always willing to help, if things became challenging.  He was a "Giant of a Man", yet personal and compassionate. He inspired each of us, to be our best at all times. I am truly, a better person today, because unlike some, I was fortunate enough to have served with Harry Spies."

This tribute was added by Bobby Butcher on 18th December 2013

"I count myself lucky to have known Harry Spies and to have been able to call him my friend. All who knew him are better people as a result. He was always willing and able to respond to any request and his advice was always on target. He will be missed."

This tribute was added by duane thiessen on 18th December 2013

"Harry was a friend from day one in TBS.  For Harry, "Why" we do what we do was always his priority...."what" and "how" were just details that we could work out.  His high confidence was founded in his high intellect and skill.  I always enjoyed his company, always admired his enthusiasm, and will always be grateful for the opportunity to be counted in the ranks with him."

This tribute was added by Bill Powers on 18th December 2013

"It is a sad day for all of us who knew and admired Harry as a Marine, a thinker, a leader, a family man, and a comrade. He was - in fact and deed - a Great American! God Bless and Semper Fidelis."

This tribute was added by Mike Orr on 18th December 2013

"My first skipper and the man who taught me what inspired leadership is all about.  I will miss you.  

My favorite quote...."Hoover, if first class doesn't stop there, we're not going!""

This tribute was added by Paul McNamara on 18th December 2013

"Harry made sense when life didn't.  He lived and enjoyed life, and when you were with him, you did too.  His passion extended to everything he did, and he willingly shared that passion with everyone who was his friend.  Harry was rare.  I miss him."

This tribute was added by Chuck Ehlert on 18th December 2013

"Thanks for the everything Harry, you were always there with great perspective. Thanks!

See you later!"

This tribute was added by Margot Washington on 18th December 2013

"Harry was one of my favorite people at Power Ten, Inc,.  I feel honored to have known him, and I appreciate so much his leadership, kindness and sense of humor.  I am having my parish, Holy Family in Kirkland, WA pray for his soul this Sunday, December 22.  Rest in peace, Harry.  I will miss you, but I know that you are in a better place."

This tribute was added by Q Pham on 18th December 2013

"I'm so glad to have this outlet to collectively share in our loss of a great man. (Kate, good work and thanks!) I already miss him dearly and really wish to have more time with him.

Harry, you are missed because your presence always made a difference. You always made a meaningful contribution.  Thank you for being a mentor and a friend to me! My life has been enriched because of you. I know you are in a better place, and I can only hope to see you there. Please put in a good word for me.

Jeanie, Brian, Kate, and Ali: I hope you find comfort in the love and fondness that I and so many have for him. Heaven welcomes those who lived a life that mattered. I'm sure he's there now, embracing us with his love and grace. I look forward to seeing you soon to celebrate him. If I can be of help in any way, please please let me know. Sending hugs & prayers your way."

This tribute was added by Bill Stooksbury on 18th December 2013

"All of below tributes/memories are spot on. In the words of the Gipper after the Challenger tragedy--my old CO/mentor/friend has slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God. Harry impacted many, made us all better and will be sorely missed."

This tribute was added by Bruce Willhite on 18th December 2013

"A friend, Admiral Bill McRaven, once reminded me of a final scene in the movie "Saving Private Ryan." Ryan now an older man kneeling at a National Cemetery looked up to his wife and asked; have I been a good man? For you see it's not the rank nor money one acquires in their life that's remembered.  People remember if you were a good man.  Rest assured Harry that you were a "very good man," one that many will remember fondly always.  Rest in peace shipmate........."

This tribute was added by Dan Donoghue on 18th December 2013

"I was proud to call Harry a Naval Academy classmate and to have worked with him in the Pentagon. He was a real star there.  We were honored to have him with us after our days in uniform at Jaycor and Titan.  A great man and one who mattered.  I regret never fly fishing with him.  Will remember him always."

This tribute was added by Mick Rovenstine on 18th December 2013

"I consider it a gift and an honor to have known Harry.  He has been to me a bold and visionary servant Leader, a fiercely Loyal Mentor, and one of the smartest guys I know.  He was generous in every way and never without a great idea.  (I'm sure Harry gave Bill Blazejowski the idea to take live tuna fish . . . and feed them mayonnaise)  Harry, you are missed, but your legacy will live on through those of us lucky enough to have known you."

This tribute was added by Dean Ebert on 18th December 2013

"Harry was always able to connect dots that others didn't even know existed -- I appreciated most his creativity in problem solving.  Thank you Harry for your significant impact on us all."

This tribute was added by Sue Limerick on 18th December 2013

"I can remember when I first went to work for Harry.  He flew into Virginia to meet me and take me out to dinner.  He made me realize that I wasn't just coming to work for his company, but that I was joining his family.  He touched so many lives and always left you with a smile.  Rest in Peace, my friend.

He may be gone from our touch, but he will NEVER be gone from our hearts."

This tribute was added by Barry Boynton on 18th December 2013

"To a wonderful leader! Semper Fi! Col you will be missed. The corps has lost a great man. RIP"

This tribute was added by Crazy Bruce Stevens on 18th December 2013

"I second the heavy heart. Last year, when I was in the depths of one of the depression cycles of my Bipolarism disease Harry kept sending me E mails telling me to "hang in there". It helped. I knew he had had some medical problems in the past but was not aware of the type and extent. My heart and prayers goes out to Jeannie and Family. Semper Fi. Harry."

This tribute was added by John Guevremont on 18th December 2013

"Rest in peace Harry, and thanks to the memories you leave behind with your friends, you will be with us in spirit."

This tribute was added by Thomas Conant on 18th December 2013

"A sad time for all who had the pleasure to know Harry as a Marine and a friend.  Jeanie, no words can express how much Bev and I wish you strength as you say goodbye...we can only offer you and the girls our prayers.  May he rest in peace and his memories last forever."

This tribute was added by JJ Cuff on 18th December 2013

"Harry, this may be your last set of PCS orders but now will join your friend, Mini, who called you a GREAT AMERICAN, and those words only echo all that you have done for our Corps, our Country, and for me especially.  You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.
Semper Fidelis, my friend."

This tribute was added by Bob Pescatore on 17th December 2013

"Harry was a true leader and mentor.  I recall when he arrived at VMFAT-101 as a VIP, unlike most VIPs, he was always  concerned about not being a burden on the squadron. 10 years later, as my first boss after transitioning from the Corps, Harry was still concerned about not being a burden on his people.  He shared everything, taught me everything, and supported me in all my decisions.  I cannot think of a better leader and mentor.  Semper Fi Harry."

This tribute was added by Mike Bertisch on 17th December 2013

"Jeanie, my thoughts are with you and the kids. Even though its been a long time since I last saw Harry and you, I very much enjoyed reading about you all and him via Facebook.....I will always have fond memories of our family gatherings at Ira and Chris' in NJ. He was a great man who served his country proudly and will be missed by many including me."

This tribute was added by Marilyn Blacher-Reich on 17th December 2013

"I am so relieved that I told Harry on his last birthday that I figured out that he was like a brother to me. During HS we shared many intimate conversations. Although Jeanie barely remembers the event, their first date was at Cranbury Lake in NJ with Don McCutcheon and I. Harry adored Jeanie from that time on. They created a beautiful and multi- talented family. They cared for their families of origin and their military families with equal intensity. I know Harry was very proud of the life he built with Jeanie. I was thrilled that my son Joey got time to spend with Harry and Jeanie three months after his own Dad died of cancer. He loves the military...and I will remind him in years to come that he had met a great military hero when he met Harry Spies."

This tribute was added by Denise Cox Lehosky on 17th December 2013

"May your fondest memories keep Harry with you each and every day.  God Bless.
TSG Alumni"

This tribute was added by Peter Reddy on 17th December 2013

"An inspirational servant leader, an intellectual force, a charismatic person---devoted to his family and his Marines and an example to us all.  Directly assigned with the MACCS community only near the end of his career as MACG-38 CO---he left a legacy as a giant of our small community that has inspired many of us over the years since.
We have all been honored to know you, sir!
Semper Fidelis!"

This tribute was added by Mark Mitchell on 17th December 2013

"Harry, You left us so soon. There must be something up there you needed to check out for the rest of us. You were the smartest guy in the Marine Corps I ever knew but you always made us mere mortals feel important. God must have needed you for something big up there, He wont be disappointed. Semper Fi"

This tribute was added by Willaim Nyland on 17th December 2013

"A truly great American and a Prince of a man.  We are all better for haveing known and served with Harry. Rest in peace my friend and with no more pain.  A magnifient Marine.  God Bless & Semper Fidelis, Spider"

This tribute was added by Martin POst on 17th December 2013

"Harry, you had a huge impact on everyone you touched. The Bengal's of 91-93 will miss you greatly! Never take "NO" for an answer lives in all the Marines who served with you. Until we meet again Skipper!"

This tribute was added by Matt Redfern on 17th December 2013

"With Harry’s passing, the world has become significantly dumber and a lot less fun.  He personified the maxim, “It is better to serve than be served.”  I consider myself blessed to call him my friend, colleague, and boss.  I am sure if we ever look on Heaven’s scenes, we will find Harry improving the guard duty scheduling process for the U. S. Marines.    Rest well, see you again soon."

This tribute was added by George Trautman on 17th December 2013

"Harry, my TBS classmate, lifelong friend and fellow Marine, was a giant among men. I was blessed to have him in my life and I will be forever grateful for the many things he did for Zoe and me. Jeanie, Brian, Kate and Ali our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time."

This tribute was added by Jeff Wieringa on 17th December 2013

"Very sorry to hear...been a long time since we were at the Lake together. Rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Chuck Antonio on 17th December 2013

"Harry was COTD and I was a very inexperienced OTD.  I was worried about the format for a test plan and concerned about plagiarizing someone else's.  He looked at me and said, "Doc, there is no such thing as original thought."  That was the first of many things he taught me that have lasted throughout my career and life.  The fact that he taught "by example" made the lessons even more lasting.  Thanks Harry!"

This tribute was added by Jim Rosenbluth on 17th December 2013

"I don’t need to tell you how great a guy Harry is. (I’m sorry. I can’t do this in the past tense.) Harry has had many lives, all well-lived. B/N, test pilot, intel/black world wonk, squadron commander, entrepreneur, successful businessman, loving father and husband, fast and unwavering friend. Over the past 24 years, I’ve known Harry in most of those persona and he is as principled as he is intelligent, whether facing down and calling out ignorance or supporting and defending his country, his friends and his family. He is absolutely uncompromising, and that was what makes him great. In a world of wishy-washy personalities who stand for nothing, Harry was and is a beacon of truth and integrity. I miss him terribly already.


This tribute was added by Eric Walters on 17th December 2013

"I confess to being in a state of disbelief at this news.  I last saw Harry at the MCA&F Intelligence Dinner in 2012.  We served together when he was CO of MACG-38 at 3d MAW when I was the G2 there.  When Mike "Rifle" DeLong was CG, we called Harry "the Armorer"--he seemed to be the only one who could handle the boss.  He was always calm, cool, and collected--full of sage wisdom and listened to everyone.  God bless Harry, his surviving family, his close friends, and all those who knew him and mourn his loss.  A feel a sense of debilitation knowing he is gone from us.  So much he had left to give--"

This tribute was added by Curt Ames on 17th December 2013

"A leader who entrusted us to carry on with with his commanders guidance.  He taught me to take care of our Marines and don't worry about him or the brass.  His last guidance to me was to not concern myself with how he was doing but to spend time with my family and chase your dreams because life is too short.   Harry,  we are all better because of you but we all got caught short spending time with you.  Semper Fi,  Your OpsO"

This tribute was added by Scott Leitch on 17th December 2013

"Mary Anne's and my hearts and prayers go out to all the Spies.  We will cherish all the wonderful memories we have of Harry.  He will never be forgotten.  Good bye, my friend."

This tribute was added by Leah Ackerson on 17th December 2013

"Harry was so much more than a brother to me. I always knew he had my back, would kick my ass when I needed it, and was that constant presence in my life. I'm not sure he'll ever know how much I loved and admired him. Our relationship truly got better and stronger with age. You will always be in my heart and mind, and I promise to always be there for Jeanie, Brian, Kate and Ali, as you were for me."

This tribute was added by Dave Goold on 17th December 2013

"We've lost one of our best and truly a "one of a kind" Marine, husband, and father. I'm sure that where he is now every cast of a fly gets a fish, the beer is as cold as the water in the river, and the sun continually shines on his face. Rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Jim Flynn on 17th December 2013

"I knew Harry and Jeanie back in high school.  It was clear that they were both destined for great things. I can see that I was correct.  I'm so sorry to hear that Harry has passed."

This tribute was added by Lisa Matachun Gleavy on 17th December 2013

"I find myself fighting back tears as I try to write a simple message about the impact Col Spies had on my life. Maybe it's because some people we see as being invincible, able to beat anything. You, Harry, were just that to me.  

James Dean said that if a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he's dead, then maybe he was a great man.

Harry was a great man."

This tribute was added by Terry Robling on 17th December 2013

"No worries here on earth, Harry.  We'll take care of your family!  Send us the gouge and "yellow" on Heaven.  Rest in peace my friend."

This tribute was added by John Brown on 17th December 2013

"Harry, my USNA Classmate and fellow Marine, you were something special to a ton of people and will be missed. God rest your Soul my brother.

john brown"

This tribute was added by George Moe on 17th December 2013

"To paraphrase an anonymous author: There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will. Harry mattered...and always will."

This tribute was added by Rick Ludwig on 17th December 2013

"My heart is heavy.  A shock!  Harry was such a great American, Marine, Jaycor employee and friend.  Will miss you till we meet again.  Keep smiling."

This tribute was added by Doug Henry on 17th December 2013

"Fair winds and following seas Shipmate, neighbor, hunting & fishing buddy, and Squadronmate.  Till we meet again!"

This tribute was added by Susan Jeffery on 17th December 2013

"I know that this world was a better place because of Harry. He will be sorely missed by me but never forgotten as he was an inspiration to anyone fortunate enough to know him.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this terribly difficult time."

This tribute was added by Vic Scarano on 17th December 2013

"A good man.  My life was enriched by knowing you and calling you a friend.  God Bless you and your family."

This tribute was added by Darren Johnson on 17th December 2013

"Till we meet again friend, you will be missed. A great leader, visionary, and friend. Words cannot express the gratitude I have to you and the sadness in my heart right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time, and we can't wait to see you again in a place where pain and sorrow is no more."

This tribute was added by Ernie Vinson on 17th December 2013

""I was proud to call Harry my friend, but I am more proud that Harry called me his friend. You will and already are missed!""

This tribute was added by Patrick Gough on 17th December 2013

"The shock is felt to our very core.  The friend, mentor, and fellow aviator...the father and husband that we all aspired to be.  Rest well dear friend, until we meet once again...in the mean time, put in a good word for us!"

This tribute was added by Scott Kerchner on 17th December 2013

"You are now in a better place my mentor, brother in arms, leader, friend.  Will see you again Sir, standing by the pearly gates I'm sure."

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Katherine Spies


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