Albert Joseph Spika died at his home in Delta Feb. 3, 2017. He was 87.
A celebration of life was held Feb. 7 at Hellman Ford. With the assistance of VFW Post #3571, graveside services with military honors were held at Delta City Cemetery.
Mr. Spika was born in Coffee Creek, Mont., to Charles and Martha (Vanek) Spika on March 10, 1929. He grew up in Denton, Mont., and graduated from Denton High School. He obtained a degree in agricultural science and education from Montana State University in 1952. He played saxophone in the "Spika Orchestra," providing music for community events.
He served in the U.S. Air Force as a staff sergeant. He helped maintain B-36 bomber aircraft during the Korean War.
On Dec. 27, 1956, he married Alice Wang.
He taught agricultural science and biology to high school students before starting his 36-year career with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. He was an expert in the implementation of irrigation and water salinity. He worked with farmers and ranchers throughout Delta County to improve their crops. He shared his knowledge with visiting conservationists from around the world.
Mr. Spika was known as Delta County's "MacGyver." He enjoyed helping others by fixing, building or repairing anything in need. He enjoyed working with his hands and spent hours in his shop.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Alice; five children, Penny (Mike) Rubala, Sandi (Scott) Borchetta, Darci (Matt) Hellman, Pam Spika and Trevor (Chelsea) Spika; 11 grandchildren; and one sister, Leona Strouf.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Frank Spika.
Memorial contributions may be made to Taylor Funeral Services, 682 1725 Road, Delta, CO 81416. Proceeds will go to HopeWest and City of Delta to plant more trees in Delta.
Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory is handling the arrangements.
Visit the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at www.taylorfuneralservice.com.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.