Today is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 87 years old today, and I really wish he was here to celebrate the day. I miss him so very much. This day feels so empty now. He was such an amazing man. And he lived such a full life. I am so blessed to have had him for my dad. He was the best dad in the world.
My dad was born in Superior, Wisconsin, the third of four children of my grandparents Allen Luther Spencer and Anna Louise (Schumacher) Spencer. Dad was a happy-go-lucky kid with a great sense of humor. My Uncle Bill told me of some of the funny things his little brother did, like falling asleep standing up while they were playing on the wood pile. And the two of them pulling the many pranks they pulled together. I was told years ago of a time when he had been told several times, like most kids are, not to rock back in his chair, and when it fell, my grandmother said, “Zo, du bist a okaman!” Which is to say, “So, you are a big man!” Well, maybe not then Grandma, but to all who knew him…yes, he was!!
To me and my sisters, however he was Dad. He brought much laughter into our lives with his wit. Dad loved a good joke. I remember many a time that he would pull some prank on us and then laugh with total delight when his joke went off as planned. I remember his delighted laugh so well that I can still hear it very clearly. But, he was also, our hero. He held off the lions and bears…or at least kept them out of camp, by being so brave and putting another log on the fire so we were safe. He protected us from any unforeseen monster…especially moths…which our child’s minds could concoct. He just always had the answer, or the muscle to take care of whatever needed taking care of. He was our hero.
Like so many other things about my dad that feel like they happened only yesterday. Dad was truly the last of the true gentlemen. He carried himself with a dignity that you don’t see anymore. My mom was treated like a princess. That is just how Dad was. He loved her with all his heart, and it showed in all he did. He and my mom had a beautiful marriage, and Mom misses him terribly. He made all of “his girls” feel so special, and since he and my mom had five daughters…no sons…he got to have six of “his girls” and he treated us all like his little princesses. We were all so blessed.
Dad showed us and taught us the important things in life. He wasn’t a showy man, he was a solid, grounded man with unquestionable values and solid faith. The values he taught us will live inside us forever. He loved having his kids and grandkids around him, and what a blessing that was. He always had time for us. He helped with homework, played, and led us in the ways we should go. He and my mom made sure we were raised to know and have a personal relationship with God, and let us know in no uncertain terms, that he disapproved when we missed church. His values are still strong in his children today. And he was a capable man. He always knew how to find a solution to our problems. We always knew we could go to him and he would know what to do. He always had a way to fix whatever seemed to have gone wrong.
He served his country willingly, and his military record is exemplary. He told us a few stories from the war, but he never thought himself a hero…in any capacity. On that matter, he was wrong. My dad was very much a hero…in every area of his life, but mostly to his family. He was a great man. My sisters, my mom, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, many friends and other family members, and I miss him terribly!! Happy birthday Daddy!! We all love you very much!!