Gene Orville Spencer

1926 - 2012

Gene Orville Spencer was born July 30, 1926, in Kansas City, Mo., and died peacefully at his home Aug. 27, 2012, at the age of 86. He entered the U.S. Navy five days after graduating from high school in 1944 and served for two years as a signalman based in Hawaii and other islands in the South Pacific during World War II. He attended Santa Clara University where he met his wife, Ellen, and they married in San Jose in 1951. Tired of commuting to San Francisco, they moved to Pasco in 1965, and a year later to Walla Walla where Gene worked as secretary treasurer for ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Rogers Walla Walla until retiring at the age of 60.

Gene was a ham radio operator and communicated with people from around the world. He also acted as testing administrator at the community college for new ham operators. He loved to fish and created many happy memories with family and friends in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and at his summer home at Twin Lakes in northern Washington.

Gene was preceded in death by his wife, Ellen; and daughter, Janet Weekes. He is survived by his son, Brian Spencer (Shelli) of Gig Harbor, Wash.; son-in-law, John Weekes of Portland; grandchildren, Lauren Weekes of Chicago, Ill.; Meghin Spencer of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Mackenzie Weekes of Beloit, Wisc.; Andrew Spencer of Bellingham, Wash.; and his close companion, Jeannette (Jan) Studer of Walla Walla.
Gene was a very kind man who had a fun sense of humor. When he was diagnosed with colon cancer in November of last year he said, “I’ve had a great life, and I’ve never been sick. I guess it’s just my turn in the barrel!” His family is thankful that, with the help of his doctor, his quality of life was maintained allowing him to cruise the Caribbean, visit his family and Boy Scout troop in California, and spend one last summer at his lake home.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362. Friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook at

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