Berton Everett Spivy, Jr. – General, United States Army

From contempory news reports:

Berton Everett Spivy Jr., 85, a retired Army four-star general and former defense industry consultant who had lived in the Washington area for more than 20 years before moving to Dallas in 1994, died of cancer November 26, 1997 in a Dallas, Texas, hospital.

He served in the Army for 37 years, including service as an artillery officer in southern France during World War II and later as the United States' military representative to NATO, before retiring from active duty in 1971. He then worked for Martin Marietta Corp. in Washington until retiring altogether in 1994.

General Spivy, a former Annapolis resident, was an Oklahoma native. He was commissioned in the field artillery after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1934. After World War II, he held artillery staff and command posts in the United States and in Europe and the Far East. Those posts included the command of the 3rd Armored Division in Germany in the mid-1960s.

His first wife, Frances Woolfolk Spivy, died in 1988.

Survivors include his wife, LaNeil Wright Spivy of Dallas; two sons from his first marriage, Bert, of Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Peter, of Orlando; and a sister, Emily S. Lewis of New York.


Born in Muskogee, OK, December 22, 1911 to Berton E. Spivey and Maude Bramlette Spivey, passed away in Dallas, TX, Wednesday, November 26, 1997. General Spivy retired from the Army in 1971 with the highest peacetime rank of four stars after an outstanding military career starting at West Point in 1934 and ending as U.S. Military Representative to NATO. After his 37 years of military service, General Spivy continued to serve his country as a consultant to Martin Marietta Corporation, advising on military weapons and especially preparedness techniques to avoid their use. General Spivy was preceded in death by his first wife, Frances Woolfolk Spivy, mother of his two sons, Bert and Peter. In addition to his sons, he is survived by his wife, LaNeil Wright Spivy of Dallas and a sister, Emily Spivy Lewis of New York City. Memorial services will be held Friday, December 5 at 3 p.m. at in the Old Post Chapel at Fort Myer, VA.

Washington, DC, 31 January 1998
General Orders
No. 3

The death of General Berton E. Spivy, Jr., on November 26, 1997, at  Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas is announced with deep regret. His last duty assignment was as the United States Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee, Brussels, Belgium.

Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, General Spivy began his military career at the United States Military Academy, West Point. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1934, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of Artillery. An avid Artilleryman, General Spivy attended the Battery Officers' course, the Field Officers' Course, and instructed at the Artillery School, Fort Sill. He further enhanced his military schooling by attending the British Land/Air Warfare School and the National War College.

General Spivy has held a variety of staff and command positions while in the United States, Europe, and Asia. During World War II, he served as the Chief of the Field Artillery Branch, G-1, Army Ground Forces and later deployed to Southern France where he joined the United States Seventh Army and served as the Plans and Operations Officer of the Seventh Army Artillery Section for the remainder of the war. Upon returning to the United States, he served as the Deputy G-4, First Army, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and later commanded the 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, at Fort Lewis, Washington. Other assignments included duty as the Commandant of the Special Weapons School and Commander of the Special Weapons Unit Training Group for the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Sandia Base, New Mexico.

Promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in 1959, General Spivy became the Commander of the 7th Infantry Division Artillery, Korea. In 1960, he returned from Korea to command the 1st Field Artillery Missile Brigade at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In the following years, he served in a variety of joint staff positions to include Chief of the JCS Liaison Group to the Director, Joint Strategic Target Planning and as the Director, Plans and Operations (J-3), Headquarters, U.S. European Command. He later returned to troops for a two year assignment as Commander of the 3rd Armored Division until March 1965.

In April 1965, General Spivy was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and served as the Director for Plans and Policy (J-5) in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; subsequently in April 1967 he was appointed Director of the Joint Staff. Promoted to the rank of General in July 1968, General Spivy served as the U.S. Representative to the NATO Military Committee until his retirement in July 1971.

General Spivy's life is characterized by dedication, vision, and patriotism after more than 37 years of service to his country which did not diminish upon his retirement.

For the next twenty years, General Spivy continued to serve the interests of the military as a consultant for the Martin Marietta Company, advising on military weapons and preparedness techniques to avoid their use. He actively contributed to government efforts toward peace through preparedness with special efforts in the U.S. Senate committees to improve world military, political, economic intelligence coordination. He will be remembered as a natural leader of men, a passionate and a very active citizen soldier for peace.

With his passing, the nation has lost a faithful, dedicated servant and the United States Army, a great leader.

General Spivy is survived by his wife, Mrs. LaNiel Wright Spivy; two sons, Lieutenant Colonel Berton E. Spivy III, U.S. Army Retired and Mr. Peter Spivy; and five grandchildren.

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