Official Obituary of


March 31, 2024



 His Life Story


William Lewis Spann Sr. was affectionately known as “Billy”, “Bill” , “Spann” and called “Poppa” by his children, was born November 18, 1944 to his parents, William C. and Nekoda Spann. He was their only child. However, Bill didn’t need any siblings because he was warmly attached to his grandmother and his favorite aunt, Betty Ruth Beene Stephens.

Bill graduated from Shortridge High School in 1963. Shortly afterwards he was drafted into the army where he served for two years. In 1967, Billy married his high school sweetheart, Betty Harmon. This union brought forth a daughter, Billie Jeanne “Princess” Spann and son, William Lewis Spann Jr.

He worked at Ford Motor Company for thirty years, retiring at the age of fifty-two. Not only was he a Ford employee, but also an entrepreneur, fulfilling his childhood dream of running his own stores and ice cream parlors around the city.

Bill was ambitious. He held licenses as a Real Estate Broker, an Appraiser and an Auctioneer. He was a financial wizard who constantly worked with numbers on paper and in his head. He also liked watching the stock market as a day trader. Later in life he earned his bachelor’s degree from the prestigious Kelley School of Business at IUPUI. Whenever Bill set his mind to do something, he was sure to make it happen – doing it “his way”.

He was constantly busy, always supporting his family’s events, whether sports, the arts, or camp he would be there for them –along with his newspaper. And when his son, William Jr. carried the Indianapolis Star, Bill would be up with Jr., during wee hours of the morning, helping his son wrap papers with rubber bands and assisting with delivery. Bill did this even though he had just gotten off from his own job at midnight.

In addition, Bill loved to read the paper and watch the news on TV. He made sure that he was up to date on most current events. He also loved attending concerts, pacer games, the circle city classic, the Indiana state fair and taking his family to amusement parks around the Midwest. He loved deserts, his favorite was chocolate and vanilla mixed ice cream.

Spann was a lifetime member of the NAACP and he often marched in support of people and their rights. He was a definite supporter of the underdog. Poppa was a devoted dad and a loving husband. He will always remain close to our hearts.

William Lewis Spann Sr. departed this earthly life on March 31, 2024 at the age of seventy-nine years old. He was preceded in death by his parents.

His surviving relatives include wife, Betty J. Spann, daughter, son, and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews. He will always be in our loving memory.


Humbly Submitted.………….The Family


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 Service Program - William L. Spann, Sr.

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April 13, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Phillips Temple CME Church
210 East 34th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46205

Celebration of Life
April 13, 2024

11:00 AM
Phillips Temple CME Church
210 East 34th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46205


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