Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Arthur “Art” Elmon Spooner Jr., 75, of Williamsburg

Arthur “Art” Elmon Spooner Jr. (Nelsen Williamsburg)

Arthur “Art” Elmon Spooner, Jr. passed away suddenly on July 27, 2022 at age 75. Art was born on October 22, 1946 in Mobile, Alabama, where his southern graciousness, deep and quiet faith in God, and devotion to family took root. With his parents and sister, he eventually settled in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and early years spent on the rivers and mountains of the Ozarks forged a lifelong love of nature and wildlife.

Following graduation from the University of Arkansas with a degree in history, Art enlisted in the United States Army and served in Vietnam as a mechanized infantry officer from 1970-71. He was awarded the Bronze Star for gallantry in combat.

After receiving his J.D. from the University of Arkansas, Art went on to specialize in taxation and earned an LL.M. from Southern Methodist University in 1976. He married and had two sons, Brad and Bill, and settled in Dallas. His work with Aramco Services Company took him to Houston, where he remarried. With his wife Sue and infant daughter Clare, Art eventually transferred to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where they lived for nearly a decade. As the company’s Chief Tax Counsel, he led teams that structured mergers and acquisitions, most notably the joint venture between Texaco and Saudi Aramco, Star Enterprise.

Upon retiring from Saudi Aramco, Art moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, where he worked as the Chief Financial Officer at the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia for five years before opening his own firm specializing in tax preparation and financial planning. This work was perhaps the most rewarding of his career, as he touched many clients through countless phone calls and visits, patiently and loquaciously explaining each unique situation.

A true gentleman, Art was a man of integrity. He loved the fine arts, traveling near and far to see a favorite Vermeer piece or a special Winslow Homer exhibit. He took time to be amazed: by a birdsong, the brushstrokes in a painting, the spin on Federer’s serve. He often would leave his shotgun behind on a hunting trip, preferring to sit quietly as chipmunks scampered up his sleeve. Even during tax season, he was never too busy to pick up a call from his children, whom he loved with all his heart. Art had a steady, grounding presence and a subtle, punchy humor. He will be deeply missed.

Some counsel from Art:

Never leave for a walk without a pocketful of dog treats.

When faced with a negative outcome, make the next one positive.

If the baby won’t fall asleep, recite the tax code.

Never throw out a receipt.

When transferred to a non-alcoholic country, make your own wine.

Bake dozens of your grandmother’s cinnamon rolls to share at Christmastime.

Prepare the coffee at night so it’s ready for your wife in the morning.

Have conversation for conversation’s sake.

Be charitable with your professional wisdom, but don’t work for free.

Speak the truth always, even if it irritates people.

Fight for what you believe in.

Art is survived by his wife of 32 years, Sue Gunn Spooner; children, Bradford Douglas Spooner, William Driskell Spooner (Christina), and Lucy Clare Spooner; grandchildren, Charles Bradford, Eleanor London, Gregory Joseph, and Samuel William; mother, Mamie Lou Pierce Spooner; sister, Mary Alice Loberg (Douglas); niece, Carol Diane Balog (Robert); nephew, Robert Charles Loberg (Katherine); and his beloved Golden Retriever Millie. Art is predeceased by his father, Arthur Elmon Spooner.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 6, at 1 pm, at Bruton Parish Church. Private interment will be scheduled for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to SEVA GRREAT (Golden Retriever rescue), the Wounded Warrior Project, or a charity of your choice.

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