Bill Speyers at his final BVCHD meeting in December 2009.

Big Bear Lake, CA — The Big Bear Valley lost one of its more distinguished contributors with this morning’s passing of former Big Bear Lake Mayor Bill Speyers, who died in the 4am hour with Paddy, his wife of 65 years, at his side and one of his beloved boxer dogs nearby. Speyers had, citing health reasons, resigned from his post as Treasurer for the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District on December 31, ending a long career of community service since moving to the Big Bear Valley in 1985.
Since relocating here upon his retirement from a career in engineering and aerospace, the World War II veteran served on the Big Bear Lake City Council for four years and was Mayor Speyers in 1988 to 1990; he also served as a Department of Water and Power Commissioner from 1991 to 1999, and again from 2001 to 2007, before joining the Healthcare District Board for a period of over 10 years. Speyers and wife Paddy, the parents of three daughters, were also active with Friends of the Moonridge Zoo; he is also a past president (or chairman) of SANBAG, the Valley Water Study Association, AARP, the Bear Valley Human Services Foundation, the Big Bear Amateur Radio Club, the Mining Monitoring Committee, the Association of California Healthcare Districts, and Friends of the Performing Arts, among other activities and groups, including the Elks and VFW.

The portrait of Mayor Bill Speyers still hangs in Hofert Hall at the Big Bear Lake Civic Center.

It was on a walk one day in Big Bear that Speyers said he saw a sign on a porch that read, “He who rocks, rots,” prompting his extensive foray into public service. Those who have worked with him have nothing but praise for his dedication, among those DWP Board Secretary Robyn Bratton, who tells KBHR, “He was very dedicated to this Valley, and totally supported DWP in every way. Bill Speyers was a good Board member, and he was a good man.” Michael Perry, who had been the DWP’s General Manager when Speyers was Mayor of Big Bear Lake adds, “He was a great Council person and Mayor, and he really cared about the City. He was really forward-looking, to assure that what we did today would make sure the City was healthy in the future.” And yet his commitment was not without a dose of humor, as the healthcare district’s CFO Rudy Shutta recalls. “I always knew he read the financial statements,” Shutta says, “because, with a little twinkle, he commented on my spelling errors.” Services for Speyers, who passed at age 86, have not yet been announced.
Update: As of March 23, still no announcement with regard to services to honor Speyers.
Update: The family of Bill Speyers will celebrate his 86 years at the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 17 at 1pm. Paddy Speyers, the former Big Bear Lake Mayor’s wife of 65 years, says that Bill had a wonderful life and this will be a celebration of that. The PAC is located at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard in the Big Bear Lake Civic Center.