Dr. Peter W. Spike

February 07, 1941 ‒ April 17, 2019

Delaware, Ohio

Dr. Peter W. Spike, Ph.D., age 78, Emeritus Associate Professor at The Ohio State University and passionate Holstein dairyman, passed away Wednesday Morning, April 17, 2019 at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Born on February 7, 1941 in Saline, Michigan to the late Lowell and Carol (Sodt) Spike, he was Class Valedictorian of Milan Area High School Class of 1959. He went on to earn Degrees in Dairy Science and Animal Breeding at Michigan State University and Iowa State University, where he also earned his Doctorate Degree in Animal Breeding. His college honors included membership in FarmHouse, Alpha Zeta, Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Sigma Delta, and Epsilon Sigma Phi Fraternities.

Pete was in elementary school when he met Jean Bird, who not only became his accompanist by piano, but in life, sharing 55 wonderful years in marriage. Together they shared not only a love for music, but in raising their family, and caring for each other’s needs.

His life not only centered on his faith and family, but also in educating and mentoring Ohio’s dairy youth.  He began his career in education at Michigan State University as an assistant professor and dairy extension specialist. Over the next 30 plus years, he served as an area agent, extension specialist, and associate professor with the dairy industry and animal sciences though The Ohio State University, retiring in 2004. Throughout his career, he was a teacher and friend to his numerous students and colleagues. During his tenure, he not only coached numerous successful 4-H and Collegiate Dairy Judging teams but also spent countless hours in service to dairy youth projects and events at the state and national levels., and he contributed much to his professional field.

A few of Dr. Spike’s honors include Coach, National Champion 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Team, recipient of Outstanding Faculty and Service Awards, A.J. Wright Award, Outstanding Young Teacher Award, Outstanding Academic Advisor Award, and Dairy Hall of Service Honoree in conjunction with The Ohio State University.

Dr. Spike was a member of American Dairy Science Association as well as the Ohio Holstein Association where he served as Board Member, Vice President, and President. He was Treasurer of the Ohio Cooperative Extension Agents Association and also served in the various offices of his collegiate fraternal organizations.

Furthermore, Dr. Spike was awarded an Honorary American FFA Degree, an Award of Honor from Ohio Purebred Dairy Cattle Association, Distinguished Service Award with the Ohio Holstein Association, Hoards Dairyman Youth Development Award from the American Dairy Science Association, and he was an Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame Honoree. Most recently, he received the Giant Step Award from The Fifty Year Club of the Ohio State Fair.

Peter enjoyed music and singing. He was a member of William St. United Methodist Church in Delaware where he sang in the choir and played in the bell choir. He was also a member of New Horizon United Methodist Church in Davenport, Florida where he regularly performed solos as well as singing in the choir.  A gifted singer, he also performed numerous solos for weddings and in churches, took part in community theater productions, and participated in Road Scholar (Elderhostel)  choral workshops.

One easy to laugh, slow to anger, and always the gentleman, his hardworking ways and passion for cattle, his family, and his students will long be remembered.  A leader and coach to all, his dedication as a teacher and mentor are part of the legacy he leaves behind. Pete was most proud of the accomplishments of his children, grandchildren, and students. He hoped his support and guidance helped play a part in their successes.

A dedicated influencer and life coach to all, he was a loving husband, father, and brother as well as a super grandfather. Perhaps his wife Jean summed it up best: “What a full life!”

Those left to cherish his memory include his beloved wife, Jean; children Steven (Kim) Spike of Bumpass, VA, Kathryn “Kate” Spike (Luke Sheets) of Ada, Andrew (Tiffany Lynn) Spike of Hilliard; grandchildren Fairan, Georgia, Molly, Jonah, Calvin, Nolan, T.J.; brothers Douglas Spike of Windermere, FL, Philip (Galina) Spike of Ames, IA; sisters Karen (Steven) Strock of The Villages, FL, Marjorie (Joseph) Lozier of Manchester, MI; sisters-in-law Carol (William) Riffe, Janet DeVriendt; brother-in-law Dennis Bird, and a host of fellow dairyman, students, extended family, and friends.

Friends may call from 10:00 till 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at the Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center, 101 Valleyside Dr. at W. William St., Delaware. Services celebrating the life of Peter Spike will follow at 11:30 a.m. with Pastor Julie Carmean officiating.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Peter Spike Dairy Judging Endowment, OSU and 4-H Dairy Judging, c/o Bonnie Ayars, 222C Animal Sciences Building, 2029 Fyffe Ct., Columbus, Ohio 43210.

Condolences may be expressed at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com

The Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center is honored to serve the Spike family.