BAY COUNTY-- A longtime fixture on the Bay County education scene has died.
Ernest Spiva died this morning after a long illness.
He was 77 years old.
Spiva was born and raised here in Bay County.
As a child he attended Panama Grammar and graduated from Bay High School.
Spiva did his teaching internship at what was then Everett Junior High School, then began teaching at Mowat Junior High.
He eventually became the principal at Rosenwald Junior High, then Rutherford High School, where he touched thousands of young lives.
When he retired in 1999, Rutherford named the gymnasium after him and, to this day is still known as the Spiva Ram House.
Ernest Spiva is survived by his wife, 2 sons and a daughter.
Visitation will take place Wednesday night from 7 to 9 at Wilson Funeral Home.
Funeral services will take place Thursday morning at 11:00 at First United Methodist Church of Panama City, followed by burial at Greenwood Cemetery.