Bernard Edward Spangler Jr., retired police officer

November 13, 2023

Bernard “Bernie” Edward Spangler Jr., 75, of Long Neck, formerly of Abingdon, Md., passed away Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes.

Bernie was born in Baltimore, Md., Jan. 6, 1948, son of the late Bernard Edward Spangler and the late Valeria Charlotte (Mitchem) Spangler. He was a proud graduate of Calvert Hall High School, and he received his bachelor’s degree from University of Baltimore.  

Shortly after graduating from college, Bernie began his career in law enforcement. First, he became a police officer for Ocean City, Md., before joining Maryland State Police in 1972. In the ‘70s, after working in narcotics, Bernie was at the forefront of investigators who helped plan and expand the unit to the Drug Enforcement Division of the State Police.  His career with the Maryland State Police spanned 28 ½ years. He retired Jan. 1, 2001, as the commander of the Bel Air Barracks. After retiring from the state police, Bernie worked for Zurich and USAA Insurance companies as an investigator, retiring completely in April 2011. 

Bernie served as the chair on the committee of the Trooper of the Year for Maryland State Police Alumni Association.  He worked with numerous charities throughout Maryland, serving and preparing food for the homeless. He also loved fly fishing and enjoyed brewing his own beers, as he was involved with the Libation Association. Bernie was a people person and enjoyed being around people, and found great comfort in his church, The Crossing in Milton.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Janice Ross. He is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Priscilla (Schmidt) Spangler; three children, Wendy Dugan of Greenville, S.C., William Ross III of Baltimore, Md., and Natalie Frazier and her husband Kent of Whiteville, N.C.; six grandchildren, Brieann Gagliano, Brian Fialkewicz, Dominic Badolato, Tyler Dugan, Brooks Frazier and Laney Frazier; and a great-granddaughter, Arabella Kestner. Bernie is also survived by a brother, John Spangler and his wife Martha of Tega Cay, S.C.; nephew, Shawn Spangler of Fort Mill, S.C.; and two nieces, Sara Brenton of Rock Hill, S.C., and Emily Spangler of Charlotte, N.C.

A celebration of Bernie’s life will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17, at The Crossing, 15183 Coastal Hwy., Milton. Members of Maryland State Police Honor Guard will conduct a presentation to the family prior to the service. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to honor retired Lt. Spangler be made to the MSPAA Memorial Fund, MSP Museum-Criminal Enforcement Division Exhibition, 1201 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD 21801; The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland,; or The Crossing, P.O. Box 95, Milton, DE 19968.

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