Lionel Delbert Specht, 91, of Edinburg, passed away Monday, February 2, 2015 at his home.
Mr. Specht was born November 25, 1923 in Savage, Maryland son of the late Charles Odell Specht and Mercedes Sine Specht. He was preceded in death by two brothers. Those left behind to mourn his loss and cherish his memory include his wife of 69 years, Dorcas Arlene Rinker Specht; daughter Linda Whetzel and her husband Claude and son Larry Specht and his wife Hilda; four grandchildren, four great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and two step great-great grandchildren.
Although Lionel didn’t have an engineering degree, he certainly had an engineer’s mind and could devise a creative fix to almost any problem. Barely out of high school, he started working as a mechanic at a DC taxi cab company, landing the job simply by looking under the hood of a broken down car and instinctively knowing how to get it running again. Not long after, he was serving as an airplane mechanic in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
After the War, he and his young bride returned to her birthplace near the home of his grandparents in the Shenandoah Valley. He continued work as a mechanic in Front Royal and then Woodstock and extended his love of all things mechanical by earning his pilot’s license. He also ran Specht’s Motorcycle Shop with his son for several years.
Always one to keep up with changing technology, Lionel switched careers into electronics in the 1960s, working for Shentel until retiring in 1985. For many years, Lionel also maintained a herd of cattle on his small valley farm, and he still could be seen tending his vegetable garden through the fall of 2014.
Lionel enjoyed retirement to the fullest. Over the years, he traveled with various family members to every state in the Union, including five trips to Alaska. While in his 80s, he went on trips to Germany, Ireland, and Holland.
Never one to sit still, he tried everything from crochet to painting, taking painting classes with his brother and several grandchildren. He even took up flying again in the new millennium, including completing a flight on his 80th birthday.
Above all, “Gandy” cherished his family and loved nothing more than spending time with his grandchildren.
He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at Jerome. The family will have a private service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 4109 Jerome Road, Edinburg, VA 22824.