Obituary of Richard Earle Spencer
Richard Earle Spencer
February 3rd, 1931 – February 18th, 2023
It is with sadness that the family of Dick Spencer announce his passing on Saturday, February 18, 2023 at the age of 92.
Dick was predeceased by his beloved wife and life partner, Lily, and by his parents, Ted and Stella Spencer of Regina. Left to mourn are his son John (Elaine) Spencer, and grandchildren Benjamin and Colette Spencer of Surrey, B.C.; his sister-in-law Evalene Mazurkie of Regina; and his brother Ted Spencer and family of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Dick was born in Melfort, Saskatchewan in 1931. He attended public and high schools in Regina and Saskatoon and earned Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Saskatchewan. After his appointment as Vice Principal of Prince Albert P.A.C.I. in 1965, he took a year's sabbatical leave for post-graduate studies in School Administration at the University of Saskatchewan. Later, he returned to his first love, the classroom, to teach English Literature. He considered these classroom years the most rewarding and consequential of his long and varied career in education.
This career began at the young age of twenty in a multi-grade rural school near Kipling, Saskatchewan. Dick held teaching positions in three Prince Albert Collegiates and taught adult night school English classes in the Prince Albert Natonum Community College and at the Federal Penitentiary in Prince Albert from 1989 - 1995. He lectured in Human Resource Management for the Extension Department of the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. Dick retired from teaching in 1996.
Dad loved teaching. English literature was his major field and his favourite. He enjoyed the company of young people and took an interest in the lives and careers of former students with whom he had many friendships, some lasting well into his retirement years.
From early years Dick showed a keen interest in politics. His participation in political life began in his undergraduate years at the University of Saskatchewan where he was active in campus politics. He served as President of the Student's Representative Council on campus and as Chairman of the Saskatchewan sector of the National Union of Canadian University Students. He debated for the U of S, first for the College of Education and then in inter-university competitions representing Saskatchewan.
Soon after taking his teaching position in Prince Albert, Dick began a twenty-seven year career in municipal, provincial and federal politics, serving eighteen years as a City Councillor and nine years as Mayor of the city of Prince Albert. He ran for the Progressive Conservative Party in three provincial elections. In federal politics Dick served fifteen years as President of the Prince Albert P.C. Federal Association. He was an organizer and a campaign manager for John Diefenbaker in 'The Chiefs' last five Prince Albert campaigns.
Dad saw no contradiction between his professional life as an educator and his active political career in Prince Albert municipal, provincial and federal affairs. He believed that his professional and political careers, often served concurrently, complemented each other. To him, both were public service.
Dick loved his family. His wife Lily whom he met at University was his great love and devoted partner for 53 years. They were a team. Dick was proud of his son John and took particular pleasure in John's success in the practice of law. He had a deep affection for his daughter-in-law Elaine and took huge delight in his grandchildren, Benjamin and Colette.
In his last years Dad enjoyed summers spent with family at 'Miramar", our family cottage at Candle Lake, Saskatchewan. He never lost his love of reading especially in Canadian Literature, nor his pleasure in discussions of Saskatchewan and Canadian political affairs. Dad was the author of two books dealing with Conservative Party politics in Saskatchewan: "Trumpets and Drums, John Diefenbaker on the Campaign Trail", and "Singing the Blues: The Conservatives in Saskatchewan".
The family extends our deepest gratitude to Angie and Dave Kopera and the staff at the Kopera Care Home for their compassionate and respectful care provided to Dad in his final years. We thank Sandra Hill along with her husband Bud for their assistance and treasured companionship with Dad and we also wish to acknowledge all the doctors and nurses who provided such wonderful care at both the Victoria and Nipawin Hospitals.
Following Dad's wishes, no formal funeral or memorial services will be held. A private family interment of cremated remains will take place at the Prince Albert Memorial Gardens at a later date. His ashes will rest beside those of his beloved wife.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dick’s memory to the Canadian Cancer Society, 1910 McIntyre Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 2R3
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of Gray’s Funeral Chapel, (306) 922-4729, Paula Hanson, Funeral Director, and Mary MacWilliams.
In Loving Memory
1931 - 2023
Gray's Funeral Chapel, LTD.
575 28th Street West
Prince Albert, SK S6V 4T1
Phone: (306) 922-4729
Fax: (306) 763-1710
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