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Death: Mary Irene Osmond Spears

Mary Irene Osmond Spears passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, October 10, following a long illness.

Irene was born September 15, 1907 to Alfred and Annie Lloyd Osmond. She was an outstanding teacher, having taught at Brigham Young University for 36 years. She graduated from BYU, taught at Jordan High School for four years, and then attended Stanford University where she earned her MA and Ph.D. degrees in French with honors. Returning to BYU, she taught in several departments, primarily Humanities and English. She retired as a full professor in 1973. She was a talented linguist, fluent in French, Spanish, German, and Italian and with a reading knowledge of Portuguese, Norwegian, Russian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, and Roumanian.Her accomplishments were many and varied. She translated poems from several languages, and has published selected translations in two books, Selected Poems of Victor Hugo and Continental Verse. She was also acknowledged for her own poetry. She was a gifted musician who played the piano, organ and violin. She was an enthusiastic painter, seamstress, and tennis player. She wrote a biography of her beloved father, a poet and former head of the BYU English Department.

Irene loved life and those about her loved her. She was selected as Exemplary Woman of the Year by the youth in her Stake and honored as an Outstanding Alumni from BYU. She was active in the LDS Church, and in BYU Women and the Reynolds Club for many years. In 1945 she married William E. Spears in the Logan LDS Temple. He passed away in 1982.

Irene was preceeded in death by her parents; three brothers, Wenndell, Harvard and Waldo Osmond; and one sister, Marcie O. Bourne. She is survived by one daughter, Sylvia Lea Spears; two sisters, Constance Bunnell and Nan O. Grass; a stepson, S. E. Spears, and three stepdaughters, Rosemary S. Lee, Leslie S. Chappelle and Jane S. Cooley and by many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, October 14, 1997, at 11 a.m. at the Edgemont 8th Ward. Friends may call at Berg Mortuary, 185 East Center Street, Provo, Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. or at the ward chapel, Tuesday one hour prior to services. Interment Provo City Cemetery.

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