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John A. Spencer

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John A. Spencer Obituary
Spencer, John A.

Auburn, NY: John A. Spencer, 89, of Bluefield Manor, died Saturday, July 12, 2014, at the Finger Lakes Center for Living, Auburn, NY. Mr. Spencer was born in Ithaca, the son of the late John Francis and Isabella Hinners Spencer and has resided in Auburn for the past 17 years. Prior to that, he lived in Aurora and Rochester. Mr. Spencer was a graduate of Ithaca High School and earned his B.S. and Master's Degrees at Ithaca College. He was co-captain of his High School and College Football Teams. In addition, he played baseball and wrestled for Ithaca College. Mr. Spencer served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and was present in the landing craft at the historical moment when General Douglas McArthur returned and waded ashore, liberating the Philippine Islands. He was employed by the Rochester City School District as a Physical Education Teacher and Football and Wrestling Coach for over 30 years, retiring in 1982. He also founded the Wrestling Program at St. John Fisher College. Mr. Spencer loved coaching. He had many successful Football and Wrestling seasons. He was inducted into both the Section V Football and Wrestling Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Mr. Spencer was a member of the Owasco Chapter of the VFW, a life member of the Sampson Navy Veterans and the LSM Navy Veterans Association. He was a communicant of Sacred Heart Church and a member of the Sacred Heart Men's Club. John and his wife Helen enjoyed round and square dancing with clubs in Auburn, Geneva and Fort Myers, FL where they wintered. They spent their summers at Myers Point on Cayuga Lake. Surviving is: his beloved wife of 63 years, Helen Exton Spencer of Auburn, NY; two sons, Joseph C. Spencer of Scottsville, NY, Jeffrey J. Spencer and his wife Beth of Rushford, NY; three daughters, Susan Spencer Marks and her husband Michael of East Lyme, CT, Sandra Spencer Mans and her husband Jeffrey of Loudonville, NY, Laurie M. Spencer of Skaneateles, NY; one sister-in-law, Elizabeth J. Spencer of Syracuse, NY; 11 grandchildren, Derek, Jason, and Erika Marks, Danielle and John Spencer, Peter, Jennifer, Laura and James Mans, Jeffrey and Jay Spencer; several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Mr. Spencer was predeceased by a brother, Howard and two sisters, Mary Leone Barra and Dorothy Donahue. Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial which will be held at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Sacred Heart Church, 90 Melrose Rd., Auburn, NY. The family will receive friends at the church from 10:00-11:00 a.m. prior to the Mass. Interment will take place at St. Joseph's Cemetery with Full Military Honors. Expressions of sympathy may be made to Sacred Heart Church of Auburn Memorial Fund, 90 Melrose Rd., Auburn, NY 13021 or to Friends of Section V Wrestling, 474 West Avenue, Brockport, NY 14420 or to Chapel House, P.O. Box 734, Auburn, NY 13021. The Brew Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. The Family of John Spencer is most grateful to the staff of the Finger Lakes Center for Living for the kind and compassionate care extended to him.

Published in Ithaca Journal on July 15, 2014
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