Ray L SpencerJuly 10, 1926 ~ May 21, 2017 (age 90)
Raymond Leslie Spencer
1926 – 2017
Raymond Spencer, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his wife and children, on May 21, 2017.
Ray was born on July 10, 1926 in Baker, Oregon, to William L. Spencer and Rosina (Calloway) Spencer. He was the youngest of eight siblings – four older sisters and three older brothers. He grew up in Baker, graduating from Baker High School in 1944. He was drafted into the Army soon after graduation, and ended up with a medical discharge after sustaining a broken back during basic training. After surgery and recovery in Portland, he returned to Baker, and went to work for his oldest brother, Warren, at Baker Electric. In October of 1948, he moved to Richland, Washington to work at Hanford where he obtained his journeyman’s license. When his job at Hanford ended, he moved to Texas to work on “the towers” for a short time. He returned to the tri-cities area in September of 1949.
While in Richland, he met the love of his life, Donna Telford. They married on August 29, 1950, in Lead, South Dakota, where Donna grew up. Shortly after, they moved to Ontario, Oregon, and Ray began his career as an electric supply salesman for Afton Lemp. He found his calling. In 1952, they moved to Boise to start their family. Their son, Scott arrived in 1954, followed by Tracy in 1961 and Kara in 1962. During this time, Ray developed an extensive network of friends in the Treasure Valley, both through work and through church at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. In 1966, the family temporarily relocated to Twin Falls, where Ray opened his own electrical wholesale business, Gem Electric Supply Company. Over Labor Day of the following year, he moved the family back to Boise, where he opened a second branch at 15th and Main Streets, eventually moving the business to its permanent home on Lusk Street. His honesty and strong work ethic earned him a great deal of business, which was made evident by the success of his Company. He sold Gem Electric in 1976, and retired at the age of 50. He was a wonderful mentor to his children, and taught them many lessons about how to achieve success in life. And of course, the most important lesson was to laugh often, and throw in a practical joke now and then.
Ray’s favorite pass-time was spending time with his horses. In 1959, he bought 40 acres on a dirt road south of town (now Victory Road). There were many weekends spent at the acreage, riding horses, burning ditch banks, mending fences, and enjoying the quiet of the country. He also loved riding in the mountains. Ray had countless memories of his ponies – whether in town, or up in the mountains. He cherished these memories to his dying day.
In 1975, he built their dream home on the acreage, and they lived there for more than 30 years. Most people who knew the Spencer’s had been to an event of some kind at their home. It was the perfect setting for a large gathering, and this was something he always thoroughly enjoyed. Whether it was a birthday, anniversary, graduation, wedding, or Spencer Family Reunion, there was always an open door and a welcome smile as Ray greeted his countless guests over the years.
In his later years, Ray was very involved in Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, where he volunteered his time any chance he had. He was well into his 80’s when his daughter Tracy finally made him stop climbing the ladder to help make repairs in the building. Ray was a very generous man, often to a fault, and he would gladly give the shirt off his back to anyone in need. This is another lesson he taught his children, and his generosity remained a part of him until the end. The funeral service will be held on Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at Shepherd of the Valley, 3100 S. Five Mile Road, Boise. Refreshments will follow in the fellowship hall.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, all seven of his siblings, several nieces and nephews, and his grandson-in-law. He is survived by his wife, Donna, his son Scott (Laurie) Spencer of Boise, his daughter Tracy (Phil) Housh of Kuna, and his daughter Kara (Peter) Craig of Boise. His grandchildren Shauna Stonehocker and her two children, Spencer and Emily; Lesley (Jesse) Segadelli and their two children, Rocco and Lily; Elizabeth (Odinn) Celusta; Joseph Housh; Michael Craig and Katie Craig; and too many nieces and nephews to mention. He loved you all very much!
The family would like to thank First Choice Hospice, and the amazing team of individuals who made Ray’s final months so pleasant and manageable. Special thanks to Nurse Amy, Chaplain Jim, Social Worker Sherry, Volunteer Stacey, and the one and only, Nancy, who had a very special bond with Ray. You will always be a special part of our family. We would also like to thank the wonderful friends Ray met while “volunteering” at Spring Creek McMillan. We know you added joy to his life, and we can’t thank you enough for the care you provided every Tuesday. Also, the caregivers from Interim Healthcare, were deeply appreciated, but especially April who was very special to Ray.
No one could tell a story like Ray. Perhaps that is why he was so happy, to the end. He had so many wonderful memories that he shared over his lifetime… a lifetime of stories that would have killed an average man. We pray you are enjoying your family reunion in heaven. As you always said, “Onward and upward.”