Cover photo for Robert L. Spencer's Obituary
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Robert L. Spencer

October 17, 1933 — January 22, 2014

Robert Lyle Spencer, 80, of Harrisville died on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 at Jamieson Nursing Home. He was born October 17, 1933 in Glennie to John and Mary (Coppler) Spencer. He graduated from Oscoda High School in 1952 and attended Michigan State University. Mr. Spencer served in the U.S. Army from 1954 until 1955. On December, 8, 1956 he married Elaine Tennant in Detroit, Mich. Mr. Spencer worked at General Motors Research in the physical chemistry department. He was given the McCuen Award for extraordinary technical accomplishments in the development of an improved cooling system. He served as chairman for the Detroit section of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. He moved to Harrisville after retiring from General Motors in 1988. He loved woodworking and building and built his Harrisville home in 1989. Mr. Spencer was a founding member of the Alcona County branch of Habitat for Humanity. In 2005 he was honored as Volunteer of the Year for Michigan Habitat for Humanity. In 2009 a storage building on Trask Lake Road in Lincoln was dedicated and named the Spencer Building in his honor. He served as an Alcona County Commissioner for two terms in the late 1990s. He was active in the St. Andrews-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church in Harrisville. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed deer hunting and fishing. Mr. Spencer is survived by his wife, Elaine; one daughter, Lesley (Bill) Delgado of New Hudson, Mich.; one son, Derek (Karen) Spencer of Waterford, Mich.; five grandchildren, Will, Bianca and Faith Delgado and Leeann and Drake Spencer; one brother, Jim (Dorothy) Spencer of Romeo, Mich.; one sister, Lauretta Suzich of Lincoln Park, Mich.; several nieces and nephews; two sisters-in-law, Joyce (John) Krohn and Linda Soules; one brother-in-law, Dennis (Diane) Tennant; and mother-in-law, Mildred Tennant. He was preceded in death by three brothers, Frederick Spencer, Frank Spencer and Tom Spencer. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 at Gillies Funeral Home in Harrisville. Visitation will continue on Saturday, Feb. 1 at St. Andrew’s By-the-lake Episcopal Church in Harrisville from noon until the service at 1 p.m. The Rev. Ron Otto and the Rev. Nancy Harpfer will officiate. Cremation has taken place. Arrangements were handled by Gillies Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to be made to the Northeast Michigan Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, the Michigan Parkinson’s Foundation or St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Harrisville. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert L. Spencer, please visit our flower store.

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