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Robert Spencer

1973 - 2019
Robert Spencer Obituary
Robert William Spencer
February 18, 1973 - April 7, 2019
Los Gatos, California
Robert William Spencer passed away on April 7, 2019 of Alzheimer's at the age of 46. Robert was born on February 18, 1973, in Watsonville, CA to Michael (Mike) and Patricia (Pat) Kiely Spencer. Despite health challenges including Down Syndrome, Robert lived a full and happy life. Robert had close ties to Aptos, CA, where he lived for over 40 years. His mother, an educator, worked hard to prepare Robert for school and was able to get him mainstreamed at a time when children born with Down Syndrome were often institutionalized. Her tireless advocacy enabled Robert to graduate from Aptos High in 1992. Robert's father served on the board of the San Andreas Regional Center, where he helped push for education services for the developmentally disabled. After high school, Robert worked at the Aptos Rancho del Mar Safeway for over 20 years as a courtesy clerk. Robert was a long-standing member of Resurrection Catholic Church in Aptos and was active in the Knights of Columbus.
In his later years as his health problems made working difficult, Robert attended the Hope Services day center, which eased Robert's transition into post-work life. If you asked Robert what he liked best about Hope Services, his answer was always an enthusiastic, "Everything!". His family will always be grateful that Robert was able to remain in the family home with wonderful caregivers after his parents were unable to care for him due to their own declining health. In his final year, when Robert needed additional medical care, he moved to Los Gatos to be closer to his sisters. Even toward the end of his life, Robert continued to charm his hospice and nursing home caregivers.
Robert had numerous interests that he enjoyed sharing with people. He was a life-long fan of the SF Giants and 49ers. He also loved watching movies (especially musicals) and old sitcoms from his childhood. Robert took pleasure in music and dancing and was a big fan of Star Wars. When he was younger, Robert enjoyed taking trips, hiking, fishing, and even skiing with relatives. He took pride in being the "BBQ Master" for his family. As his Alzheimer's progressed and he was no longer able to cook, he satisfied that interest by watching cooking shows. Robert was a gentle soul with a great sense of humor who loved people. His deep roots in the community meant that Robert was well known and had lots of people who looked out for him, including staff at the local Chili's where he liked to eat lunch, coworkers, church friends, neighbors, and others. In his short life, Robert touched many, many lives. He will be deeply missed.
Robert is survived by his parents; his sisters, Jean and Siobhan Spencer; and his goddaughter, Elaine McQuillan as well as numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Robert is buried in the Kiely family plot at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial Mass and reception for Robert on Friday, May 3, at 11:00 am at Resurrection Church, 7600 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hope Services, https://www.hopeservices.org.

View the online memorial for Robert William Spencer
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Apr. 28, 2019
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