James E. Spencer, age 86, slipped gently into the waiting arms of his Savior and Lord on Monday, December 5, 2011, surrounded by his family at his residence.
Born on January 2, 1925 in Johnson City, NY he was the only son and youngest child of the late James Edwin and Bessie Viola Pedrick Spencer.
Jim joined the USMC In 1942 and served in the Pacific theater of operations as an aircraft mechanic. He attained the rank of staff sergeant prior to returning to civilian life.
After the war Jim was employed by IBM where he met his wife, the late Marion Freda Wickman Spencer. He was a member of the IBM Quarter Century Club and took an early retirement from the company after 38 years.
Prior to moving to NC in 2006 Jim was a member of Bethel Baptist church in Vestal, NY, where he was involved in the music ministry. During his years in the Vestal area Jim taught Sunday School, was active in youth ministry including AWANA and Christian Service Brigade and was the organizer and leader of a musical outreach group called "Praise with Brass". After moving to NC Jim sang in the choir at Mt Calvary Baptist Church in Banner Elk, participated in instrumental music and helped in the AWANA program .
Jim will be remembered for his love of music and for the many hymn arrangements he wrote for brass and wind ensembles. He enjoyed playing trumpet, euphonium and tuba and relished teaching young musicians to play as well.
He was a "Mr. Fix-it" who loved woodworking and building things including decks and treehouses. Jim taught himself to do all kinds of home maintenance tasks including wiring and plumbing. His children will never forget his "projects" or his obsession with safety.
Known as "Downstairs Grandpa" by his NC great grandchildren, he is greatly missed (especially by Daniel and ‘Becca Cook who loved him dearly). Jim’s children , grandchildren, nieces and nephews will forever remember him as the one who made sure they got to ride all six of the carousels in Broome County NY every summer.
Along with his parents James was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 62 years, Marion Wickman Spencer; sisters, Mary Hunt,Jane Decker, Grace Cavataio, and Ruth Hauver; daughter, Rebecca Jane Spencer; and great granddaughter, Sophia Cook.
James has left to cherish his memory his: son and daughter-in-law Daniel and Barbara Spencer of Highland Ranch, CO; daughter and son-in-law Drs. Bobbie and Steven Cook of Banner Elk, NC; sisters-in-law Iona Brooks of Bethesda, MD and Rosemary Wickman of Vestal, NY; brothers-in-law Thomas Cavataio of Owego, NY and Richard and Doris Wickman of Vestal, NY; 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
A memorial service for Jim Spencer will be held on Tuesday December 27th at 7 PM at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Banner Elk, NC. Inurnment will precede the memorial service in the Mt. Calvary cemetery. The family will receive friends following the memorial service in the fellowship hall of the church.
The family respectfully requests no flowers. Memorials may be made to Medi Home Hospice at PO Box 1357, Newland, NC 28657.