Stillwater News Press

December 13, 2013

Robert “Bob” M. Spaulding Jr.

Stillwater NewsPress

— Robert “Bob” M. Spaulding Jr., 90, passed away Saturday Dec. 7, 2013, in Stillwater.  

He was born in Aliceville, Ala., on Sept. 26, 1923. His family later moved to Macon, Miss., in 1925 where he attended the local schools and graduated as valedictorian of his high school class in 1940. He then entered the University of Mississippi until called to active duty in the Army in 1943 and was sent to the University of Michigan where he completed the program at the Army Japanese Language School and received a bachelor’s degree in Oriental Studies in 1945. After additional training at the Military Intelligence Service Language School in Fort Snelling, Minn., he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army in Dec. 1945.

Posted to Japan early the next year, Bob served in a number of capacities, first in Osaka but principally in Tokyo. Discharged in 1947, he stayed on in a civilian capacity, completing his military-related service in 1958 as Special Assistant to Chief of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Far East Command, Japan. In 1956, his outstanding contributions were recognized by his receipt of the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service (the Army’s highest civilian award.)  After Bob’s return to the States, he pursued graduate studies at University of Michigan, receiving his master’s degree in 1959 and his Ph. D. in 1965, both with majors in Japanese history.

Spaulding stayed on at the University of Michigan until 1971 when he accepted a position as associate professor of history (Japanese and Chinese) at Oklahoma State University. He subsequently became a full professor and in 1987 was designated Professor Emeritus. During his academic career, he published many professional books and scholarly papers dealing primarily with Japanese history. He had a deep love for Philately (study of stamps and postal history and stamp collecting). He was an active member of The International Society for Japanese Philately and had multiple publications regarding Japanese, Russian and Philippine Philately.

Known as “Dr. Bob” to all of his caregivers at Renaissance Assisted Living Memory Care Unit, Sterling House Assisted Living, Good Shepard Hospice and his many private caregivers, Dena, Margarita, Allison, Melissa, Jordan, Anthony and Austin, was loved and will be greatly missed.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Lois Spaulding, and is survived by his brother Scott W. Spaulding and his spouse Jan Spaulding of Easton, Pa.  

Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, at the Strode Funeral Home Chapel with final resting place at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting