Friday, September 4, 2009

2009 York Citizen of the Year Announced

At the Annual Member Appreciation BBQ held at the Visitor Center on Rte. 1 in York on Wed., August 26, the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced that Dexter and Virginia Spiller are the recipients of the 2009 Citizen of the Year Award. “It is quite fitting that these two individuals were selected this year. Their family dates back to the 1600’s in York, and the theme for our member celebration this year is exactly that, Back to Our Roots,” said Chamber Board Chairman Chris Kehl. “Ginny and Dexter are York’s unofficial historians. They served as editors of the 350th York Anniversary celebration book—350 Years As York, Focusing on the Twentieth Century 2001. The Spillers are likely best known locally as the owners of the former Spiller’s Restaurant at York Beach for 23 years.
The Spillers met in college and have been married for 50 years. They have three children and six grandchildren. Dexter Talpey Spiller is a descendant of nine of the original settlers that signed the York Submission to Massachusetts in 1652. Ginny is a descendant of William and Dorothy Dixon Moore who were residents of York in the 1640’s. Dexter and Virginia share a common York tenth great grandmother, Sarah Moore Welcome Spiller, a resident of the Isles of Shoals in 1680.
Ginny, who works as docent and librarian for the Museums of Old York, has been involved in many community activities including 2 terms and six years as chair of both the York School Board and the York Board of Selectmen. She was elected for 15 years to serve as the first woman York Town Moderator. She was appointed by Governor John McKernan to serve for 6 years on the Maine State Board of Education, during which time she was chair of the School Construction Committee, Higher Education Committee, and elected liaison to the University of Maine Board of Trustees for six years. Together Ginny and Dexter have assisted 15 boys in achieving the Eagle Scout award, the highest level of scouting for young men. Ginny is also a lifelong member of the Girls Scouts including her service as a member of the Kennebec Council Board of Directors and Maine State Representative to the National Girl Scouts for 2 terms. She was appointed by Governor Angus King to serve for six years on the Maine State Museum Commission.
Dexter continues to serve in the US Army as Quartermaster Corp Captain Reserve, since 1959. He is a former Trustee of the York Water District for fifteen years, serving as its President for eleven years. He was a Scout Master for Troop 301 as well as Den Dad for Troop 301. He has been an Old York Historical Society volunteer for over 25 years with involvement on the Building and Grounds Committee, Showhouse Committee, and Librarian Archive Assistant. He also served as a Trustee of the Ellis Park Trust at Short Sands Beach for 10 years. He is active in Trinity Anglican Church, St. Aspinquid Masonic Lodge for 50 years, Kora Shrine Temple, Maine Historical Society, and York Land Trust. Both Ginny and Dexter have been life long members of the Piscataqua Pioneers Society.
“Ginny and Dexter have been outstanding models of community service for decades,” said Scott Stevens, Executive Director of the Museums of Old York upon hearing the news of their selection. “To document all the ways they have contributed to life in this area would require a historian and archivist as skilled as Ginny, but she’s too modest. It is a true honor to work and share a community with Ginny and Dexter.”
The Citizen of the Year nominations are vetted through the Festival of Lights Committee, which forwards up to five nominations to the chamber’s board of directors for selection of a final recipient. Ginny and Dexter join the ranks of fifteen previous honorees including: Bill & Phoebe Foster, Verna Rundlett, Rosi Lent, Bainbridge Parsons, Pat Bacon, Harold Radochia, Leo & Diane Flynn, Rita Turner, Michael Lee, Alan Junkins, Gordon & Donna Lewis, Rick Mace, Russell Peterson, Marianne Quinn & Fran Koerschner, and Betty Kehoe.
The Spillers will be the guests of honor at the Harvestfest Volunteer Recognition party on Thursday, October 15, part of the opening ceremonies of Harvestfest on Sat., October 17, and Grand Marshalls of the Festival of Lights Parade on Sat., Dec. 5. For more information please contact Cathy Goodwin at the chamber at 207-363-4422.
Photo caption: Dexter and Virginia Spiller at the Annual Member Appreciation BBQ that was held recently by the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce. (Courtesy photo)