Visitation will be held Friday, Sept. 23, from 4 p.m.-8 p.m., at A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors, 2600 Crooks Road, Troy, MI. A service will follow on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12:30 p.m. at the same location.
Longtime Chippewa Valley High School journalism teacher John Spreitzer, 58, died suddenly Tuesday.
Spreitzer, who was hired into Chippewa Valley in 2004, was much loved by his students and respected by his co-workers.
It was his love for the written word that inspired many of his students to actually pursue careers in writing.
Kelsey Ann McCormick was one of them.
"I had Mr. Spreitzer during my senior year," McCormick said. "Up until that point I knew that I was good at writing but had no idea where that could take you in life. In his novels and movies course I discovered that I was also interested in other people's writing. I fell in love with reporting in his journalism class and upon enrolling at Western Michigan University it became my major, with literature as my minor.
"They say the average student changes their major seven times during college, but I have remained passionate about journalism even past graduation. I owe thanks to him for fostering my dream."
While fellow alumna Carrie-Ann Stuart didn't pursue a career in journalism, she too drew inspiration from Spreitzer's classes.
"Mr. Spreitzer taught me more than how to write a story. He showed me the importance of working hard, listening, taking good notes, and asking lots of questions," she said. "I never thought in a million years that a 17-year-old journalism student would be published in the Macomb Daily. But he believed in me and showed me that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. He was my biggest advocate in high school and I will miss him. God bless, Mr. Spreitzer."
Like Stuart, CVHS alumnus Jon Gentile too will remember Spreitzer as an advocate and mentor, especially so when he dons the maize and blue of his alma mater.
"He was my absolute favorite teacher from high school," Gentile said. "He helped me get into (the University of) Michigan. ... The world lost an amazing person today."
Spreitzer is survived by his wife, Michelle; children Elise, Erik (Rebecca), Luke, and Karl Spreitzer; grandchildren Ava and Gavin Spreitzer; mother, Eleanor; brother Bill, Phil (Beth) and Steve (Mary) Spreitzer; and many nieces and nephews.
Current and former Big Reds who would like to share their memories of Spreitzer can do so in the comments section below, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those comments will be added to this tribute.
Grief Counseling at Chippewa Valley
To assist the students and staff in handling the loss, a special crisis intervention team has been brought into the school, which includes an increased level of individual and group counseling services.
Chippewa Valley administration asks parents to contact the counseling office at the Ninth Grade Center at 723-3140 or 10-12 building at 723-2340 to request these services for your son/daughter, if you feel they are needed.