John Clayton Spencer died peacefully as a result of a brain tumor in his home in Queen Valley, Ariz., Sept. 18, 2011. John, age 67, was born to William Clayton and Leona (Eichelberger) Spencer, June 24, 1944. He lived his early years on the family ranch near Brownlee, and he graduated from Broken Bow High School in 1962.
He served two years with the US Army in Germany as a combat engineer during the Viet Nam War. In 1971, he married Beverly Kabel. They had one daughter.
He later married Mary Lang, a Philadelphia native. They made their home in New Berlin, Ill., where John was employed by ABF. They retired to Arizona in 2009.
John loved adventure. At one time he rode bulls in rodeos, broke horses, worked on dude ranches, canoed, hiked, climbed rocks, and joined a sky diving club when he was 50- years-old. He and Mary became avid golfers, and John managed to hit a hole in one during the last year of his life.
John was a gentle person who often shared his faith in Jesus with others. He shared his resources with those in need, and he shared his life with family and friends.
He is survived by his wife, Mary, of Queen Valley; daughter, Wende Jean of Springfield, Ill.; step-children, Lisa of Fairbanks, Alaska, Brac of Omaha, Tommy (Dessie) Lang and family of Waverly, Ill., and Jen (Wes) Hauser and family of Lexington; sisters, Sally Armstrong of Broken Bow, and Betty (Don) Holliday of Elm Creek; nieces, nephews, and many close relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and nephews, Jeff Holliday and Jay Armstrong.
“Poppa John” will be greatly missed. Arrangements are pending through A Wise Choice Mortuary in Apache Junction, Ariz. Condolences may be e-mailed to Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Published in Custer County Chief, Sept. 22, 2011