Ronald Spangler was a strong moral compass for his family and always took time to discuss important issues, said his daughter, Deb Barbanel.
“He was progressive with respect to women’s rights before his time,” she said. “He always said, 'Deb, you can do anything you want to do.’”
Ronald T. Spangler, 91, of Mission Viejo, Calif., and formerly of Merrillville, died March 25.
He was a founding member and senior partner at Spangler, Jennings and Dougherty. The law firm had offices in Merrillville, Valparaiso and Indianapolis. He was a member of several bar associations and many community organizations.
He had been a paratrooper for the Army during World War II.
He is survived by Bette Spangler, his wife of 57 years.
Barbanel said her father inspired her to follow his footsteps and become a lawyer. She said he enjoyed practicing law and going to trial to explain his client’s position to a jury.
“He could put the case in laymen terms and enjoyed that challenge,” she said.
Spangler loved to travel, and in 1967, he and his family took a vacation to Africa, where they visited Kenya, Morocco and Tanzania. Over the years, he took many other vacations overseas, including visiting Barbanel while she studied in Spain as well as other trips through Europe.
After he moved to California in 1997, he was dedicated to his grandson, Tristan, and going to his sporting activities.
“(He) enjoyed all the moments of his grandson’s life,” she said. “He and Bette felt fortunate to have spent this time with their beloved and only grandchild.”
Barbanel said her father will be remembered for his hearty laugh and his love of telling jokes.
“Often, he would start laughing so hard that he could not get to the punch line,” she said. “He was bright, articulate, optimistic and easy going — except in the courtroom. He was a gentle man and so easy to spend time with.”