Steve Spickelmier – Jacksonville Veteran and Plank Owner
Steve Spickelmier was a respected member of the veteran community, having spent 26 years serving both in the Navy and Air Force; including serving as Plank Owner on USS Holland.
He was an important member of Jacksonville National Cemetery Support Committee, working tirelessly to ensure veterans and their families received appropriate end-of-life services. He will be sorely missed by his wife Glenda, daughters, and grandchildren.
Early Life and Education
Steve Spickelmier’s story is truly inspiring, particularly his dedication to military personnel and veterans. Following the tragic loss of his son in Iraq, Idaho State Veterans Cemetery staff showed kindness and professionalism that left an impactful impression upon him – prompting him to repay their kindness through his own efforts.
He actively supported veteran causes throughout Northeast Florida and became President of Veterans Council of Duval County and Chairman of Jacksonville National Cemetery Support Committee. Additionally, he founded Community Hospice Veterans Partnership; was a member of POW/MIA Memorial Board; Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 559 leader; and played an instrumental role in Wreaths Across America activities.
He graduated from Huntington Township High School where he played on a basketball team that won county tournaments in 1961 and 1962. Following that, he served 26 years with both the Navy and Air National Guard; some of those years included being plank owner on USS Holland AS-32 located at Rota, Spain.
As soon as he graduated high school, he joined the Navy. Soon thereafter, he became a plank owner on board the submarine tender USS Holland AS-32 located at Rota, Spain; later retiring as an MSgt after 26 years.
After retirement, he worked as a background investigator and in finance before volunteering his services to veterans service groups such as Veterans Council of Duval County and Jacksonville National Cemetery Support Committee chairmanship support committee chairmanship support committee chairman for both. In addition, he participated in Wreaths Across America, Air Force Sergeants Association and Vets 4 Vets of Northeast Florida among many others.
Following his son’s passing, he was inspired to provide greater services for veterans and their families – his efforts earning him the 2017 Spirit of Freedom Award.
Achievement and Honors
Spickelmier dedicated his life to advocating on behalf of veterans. He participated in many veteran causes, such as Jacksonville National Cemetery Support Committee, Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Chapter 559 Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 559 and Wreaths Across America.
He was also a member of both POWMIA Memorial Board and Vets 4 Veterans of Northeast Florida, according to his colleagues. According to them, Spickelmier considered his work in veteran affairs one of the most rewarding aspects of his life.
Idaho State Veterans Cemetery honored him with the 2017 Spirit of Freedom Award, honoring those dedicated to making sure families of service members receive care and respect during times of grief. They applauded him for his courageous dedication in serving veterans and their families at memorial services, patriotic events and when visiting grave sites of loved ones.
Steven Spickelmier was an integral member of Jacksonville and an advocate for veterans causes. He dedicated much of his free time volunteering in various positions within veterans groups; every task seemed like it would become his main purpose in life.
After graduating from Huntington Township High School in 1962, he joined the Navy. Training as a torpedoman, he eventually served on board USS Holland AS-32 submarine tender in Rota, Spain as a plank owner before serving with Air National Guard 122nd Tactical Fighter Wing before retiring as MSgt at 482nd Fighter Wing Homestead Florida after 26 years of military service.
He served as past Chairman of Veterans Council of Duval County and Support Committee Chairman for Jacksonville National Cemetery as well as President of Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 559. Additionally he played an integral role in Wreaths Across America, POW/MIA Awareness events as well as Vets 4 Vets of Northeast Florida’s Gathering in the Pines at Cecil Field.
Steve Spickelmier was raised in Huntington, Indiana where he participated actively in sports – winning County Tourneys with his basketball teams both years. Inspired by stories shared by his World War II veteran father, he joined the Navy in 1962 where he served both as a torpedoman and eventually plank owner of submarine tender USS Holland AS-32 before retiring with his wife Glenda to Florida where they both began careers at AT&T and began searching for, identifying, and interring unclaimed cremated remains so they could receive proper honor from burial with their loved ones.