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Rev. George R. Spee, passionate about missions and devout friend of new believers, passed away in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Spee was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School in 1946 and from Calvin College in 1950. He studied the next two years at the Free University of Amsterdam, followed by three years at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, and another year at the Columbia School of Missions in Columbia, S.C. Only then did he enroll at Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1956.

For the next 27 years, Spee and his wife, Jean, served as missionaries in Nigeria, West Africa, among the Tiv people. They loved the Tiv, and that feeling was mutual.

Spee felt a deep burden for unreached people. He would trek for days into remote mountainous areas to share the Good News with isolated people. It was said of him that he never met a stranger. Humble and selfless, he lived for helping others. Where Spee’s life was at times a bit spread out it, Jean’s patient practicality brought it all together. The love of Jesus motivated this lovely couple.

Their years in Nigeria, however, took a toll on Rev. Spee’s health. In 1983 the Spees returned to the United States. However, God graciously provided another mission challenge.

In 1984 Spee agreed to be “loaned” to the Gospel Missionary Union of the Bahamas. Though the Spees retired officially in 1992, they remained active in the Bahamas till 2010.

Spee is survived by his wife, Jean; by their children, Rachel and Dale Frazier, Ana and Al Carter, Elizabeth and Paul Braselton, Martha and Russ De Kruyf; and by eight grandchildren.

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