Cover photo for Paul James "Spike" Spitzbarth's Obituary
Paul James "Spike" Spitzbarth Profile Photo
1940 Paul 2020

Paul James "Spike" Spitzbarth

July 29, 1940 — April 18, 2020

Paul James “Spike” Spitzbarth, 79, died 04-18-2020 of Covid-19. He was born on 07-29-1940 to George Washington Spitzbarth and Mary Zeznitch Spitzbarth in Chicago Illinois. Paul is survived by loving daughter Teala L., dear grandson Josiah V. Moore (and his father John G. Moore), brother-in-law Emil F. Metterhausen (Ruth), brother-in-law Edward P. Gronke, nephews Ed Gronke (Alicia), Paul Gronke (Karin), Tom Gronke (Natasia), Fred Metterhausen (Kathryn), Eric Metterhausen (Jill) and niece Deborah Gronke Bennett (Don). Paul was preceded in death by his beloved wife Laurel Marie Metterhausen Spitzbarth and sister-in-law Elissa Louise Metterhausen Gronke.

He met Laurel in July 1962 and they were married in August 1962. They had one daughter, Teala, born in 1963. Paul’s early years were rough from growing up in a bad area of Chicago. But he slowly reformed and became a better husband, father and grandfather.

Paul was a letterpress printer from the era before Xerox copies were created and a long-time member of the Teamsters and Graphic Arts Union. He earned an Associate degree from Triton College later in life.

Paul survived a near fatal motorcycle accident in 1976 that left him with his “Harley leg”. Then in 1998 he survived a serious brain aneurysm that required a 15 hour brain surgery. Over 2 years he made an amazing recovery and was able to drive again. Together he and Laurel moved near their daughter in Santa Cruz, CA – when Laurel’s health was failing. He was at her side when she passed away in 2003.

Paul enjoyed photography and was an avid Mac user – but his real passion was for traveling. He and Laurel went to Jamaica, then Hawaii several times, and made other road trips around the USA. After Laurel passed, he moved to North Carolina to be near his daughter. He took several cruises – to Alaska, the Maine coast and the Antebellum South. He enjoyed going to the Outer Banks and Asheville. In 2015 he made his dream come true and cruised down the Rhine from Amsterdam to Switzerland with his daughter.

Most of all Paul was a man of quick wit, funny jokes and incisively truthful comments. He enlivened everyone’s day and leaves a legacy of happy and humorous memories.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions there are no services. A tribute site for sharing memories is at

In lieu of flowers please offer donations to

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