Herbert Guthrie "Herb" Spencer died Saturday July 20, 2013, in Sun City, Arizona. He was 81 years old. Herb was born March 6, 1932 at the Seventeen Mile Ranch in Tendoy, Idaho, the youngest of three children of W.H. "Herb" and Jane Guthrie Spencer.
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He married Anita (Almada), August 1, 1958 in Spokane, Washington. Herb attended grades 1-7 at the one-room Sandy Creek School and grades 8-12 in nearby Leadore, Idaho.
He served in the army during the Korean conflict and spent approximately 14 months of his two-year tour of duty in Korea. After discharging from the service, he graduated from the University of Idaho with a BS in agriculture in 1958. Herb began a career with the Federal Land Bank of Spokane as a loan officer. Initially, he was based at the bank's office in Caldwell, Idaho, where he covered a territory comprising southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon. A promotion to appraiser took the Spencers to Billings, Montana, and another step up brought them to the bank's Spokane headquarters. During this time in Spokane, their children Greg and Molly were born.
In 1966 they moved back to Billings where Herb was the manager of the local Federal Land Bank Association. In 1970 Herb was named regional manager over the 10 Federal Land Bank Associations in Montana and in 1972 the family returned to Spokane. Herb retired from the Federal Land Bank in 1988 as vice-president in charge of field operations, and later he and Anita started a farm real estate appraisal practice at Anacortes, Washington. After 10 years, Herb retired a second time in 1998 and shortly after moved back to Spokane with Anita.
In the late 1980s, on the recommendation of friends from the Northwest, the couple began spending winters in the Desert Southwest. They bought a fifth wheel, dusted off their golf clubs and spent six months of every year exploring the desert and upgrading their teeth in Mexico. Eventually, they gave up the fifth wheel for a seasonal rental in Bull Head City, Nevada.
Then in 2012, after long deliberation with family, they permanently relocated from Spokane to Sun City, Arizona, where many long-time friends, including ones from Spokane, were close at hand. They loved the weather and the citrus trees in their backyard. They oversaw a first-class remodeling project on their new home.
As in the rest his life, Herb made his last year a time of positive change: retooling his lifestyle, making new friendships and rekindling old ones. Herb loved to travel and family vacations were spent exploring back roads and natural wonders around the Northwest -- from Yellowstone National Park, to Mount Raineer to Montana's Beartooth Mountains. The couple took a kayak along whenever their destinations were near water.
In the late 1970s, Herb fulfilled a long-time dream of acquiring a sailboat, and from then on, family outings were spent plying the lakes of northern Idaho. Herb was a sailing purist, and was loathe to fire up the outboard no matter how little wind was blowing. Many weekend days were spent drinking beer and talking politics while waiting out the doldrums of Priest Lake. He loved the satisfaction of bringing the boat back to its slip under the power of wind.
Herb was a loyal University of Idaho alumnus, and attended Vandals Homecoming games every fall. He regularly attended the after-game party at the TKE house to catch up with fraternity brothers, several of whom remained close friends throughout his life. A few of them were fellow snowbirds who spent winters in the Desert Southwest. This led to a newer tradition of an Idaho TKE get-together in Nevada for Idaho-Reno games.
Herb is survived by his wife, Anita; son Greg Spencer, grandchildren Lance and Sequoia; daughter Molly Spencer, grandchildren Alex and Rafael; sister Jean Benedict and sister Louise Parmenter and her husband Don; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.
A memorial service will be planned at a later date in Spokane, WA.
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Published in Daily News-Sun on July 27, 2013