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1937 Thomas 2023

Thomas Spencer

February 24, 1937 — February 27, 2023

Thomas Ernest Spencer was born the eldest son of Courtney Easton Spencer and Nellie Floy Spencer in Escalante, UT on February 24th, 1937. He and family had relocated several times in the region before settling in Pocatello, ID, the city that most shaped his young life. There, he along with three brothers and two sisters enjoyed church activities and family outings.



Tom excelled at music at an early age, playing the violin throughout his childhood, often playing duettes with his brother, Elwood, for various functions. While attending Pocatello High School he played the sousaphone in the Pep Band, Symphonic Band, and in local marching bands. He also joined the National Guard while in his senior year playing in their band and continuing for a time after graduation. Coming of age in the 1950s, he witnessed massive musical shifts in jazz, rock, R&B, pop and he consumed all with equal attention. It was car culture (hot rods and muscle cars) that most inspired him, however. He owned several models over his lifetime which became among the world's most collectible: a 1956 Chevy Bel Air (in which he was unbeatable in local drag races at the time), a 1962 Chevy Corvette, a 1964 Chevy Corvette and 1970 Plymouth Road Runner, to name a few.



After graduating from high school in 1955 he found employment at Union Pacific Railroad. In 1957 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Spokane, WA where he specialized in Nike missile technology as a Missile Tracking Radar Operator. He especially enjoyed traveling often to Fort Bliss, TX to simulate firing and tracking the missiles. He received an Outstanding Missileman Award for his knowledge of the Nike system, receiving $20 and a three-day pass. After his honorable discharge in 1961, he worked for National Cash Register, eventually relocating from Pocatello to San Jose, CA in 1968 where began a long career with General Electric as a nuclear data analyst, developing and installing database systems for nuclear power plants across the country and parts of Japan.



After retiring from G.E. in 1994, he worked at Coca-Cola processing truck drivers' inventory upon their return from their routes to the bottling plant, and retiring in 2000 when his wife also retired. They bought a motorhome, sold their San Jose home and toured the country, visiting historic sites and living the nomadic lifestyle they had worked for. They eventually settled in Congress, AZ in 2006 at an Escapees RV Park where they purchased a home bordering an expanse of BLM land. There they formed strong friendships with other RVers, participated in park activities, and enjoyed morning coffees while viewing the wild flora and fauna and the sunrises (and sunsets) against the Weaver and Bradshaw mountains.



Tom passed away peacefully, on February 27th, 2023, three days after his 86th birthday. He'll be remembered for his gregarious and comedic nature, his playfulness with children, and his love of eggs "over easy."



Tom is preceded in death by his mother, father and two sisters, Doris and Nellie Don. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and his son, Michael, brothers Elwood, Terry, and Robin, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.



Friends may offer online condolences at www.wickenburgfuneralhome.com



Arrangements under the direction of Wickenburg Funeral Home & Crematory.
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