Arroyo Grande Valley
84th Annual Harvest
Festival & Parade
September 29 & 30, 2023
Art & Kris Spoo
A naval doctor’s decision to end one man’s dream has turned out well
for the people of Arroyo Grande.
Art Spoo was only 17 when he decided he would really like to join the Navy. Art was eager to get in. He lost 40 pounds to get into the military, but when he went in for the doctor’s evaluation, the doctor determined a growth near his knee disqualified him from entry. Says Spoo, “I guess God knows best because I ended up starting school right away as an apprentice in the local funeral home.” A funeral home that Art would later own and operate for the next 52 years.
For many years of selfless service to the community, Spoo and his wife, Kris have been named this year’s Grand Marshal’s for the 83rd Annual Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival.
The Spoo’s are not only committed to this essential end-of-life service they provide to the community, but they also give of their time to anything that benefits children and families. Spoo has been active on the board of the Boys and Girls club for more than 22 years, helping the organization grow into what it is today. Spoo has also been a Past President and active member of the Greater Pismo Kiwanis Club for more than 50 years.
Spoo has also been known to give generously to any needs at Arroyo Grande High School. As a graduate of Arroyo Grande High School, Spoo is a big fan and hardly misses a home or away game for the Eagles
What stands out most is the type of care and concern that Spoo and his wife have for people. Art and His Wife Kris, longtime owners and operators of Marshall Spoo Sunset Funeral Chapel walk many families through the challenging process of laying their loved ones to rest.
“Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year Art has made himself available on site or by phone to walk people through the most difficult days of their lives,“ says longtime friend and business partner Mike Elliott. Adds Elliott, “Art is so deserving of this honor. Art and his wife have shown amazing kindness and dedication to others.”
Art and his Wife Kris, married now for 53 years have worked side by side at the funeral chapel. The two were only teenagers when they met. Kris was visiting her grandparents who happened to be park caretakers, in an area which later became Lopez Lake. “We had mutual friends and we all attended the same church on the summers when I visited Arroyo Grande”, says Kris. Adds Kris, “It was love at first sight and we married shortly after Art completed schooling.” The couple went on to raise two daughters and now enjoy five grandchildren. Characteristic of this couple is their humble and kind nature. Naturally, when presented with the honor of Grand Marshal, Art and Kris were genuinely overwhelmed and somewhat embarrassed by all the attention. Admits Spoo, “I’ve always tried to help people in my work and through the church and service clubs, but I always feel that there are more worthy people out there.”
There are many who beg to differ. Friends close to the couple say it is not uncommon for them to work seven days a week to help others. Laughs Art, “I guess, I need to take the advice of a friend of mine who said to me one
day, “Just take the compliment Spoo”.
The Harvest Festival committee is optimistic that the Spoos will enjoy the honor of presiding over the Harvest Festival Parade.