Morris N. Spencer
Sept. 6, 1921 - Aug. 11, 2011
Morris Nelson Spencer, Ph.D., of Waukesha, died Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011, at Waukesha Memorial Hospital at the age of 89. He was born in Red Oak, Iowa, on Sept. 6, 1921, the son of Ralph Maxwell and Marjorie Miriam (nee Haight) Spencer. He proudly served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, where he completed 35 combat missions in Europe as a B-17 pilot. After WWII, he remained in the Air Force Reserve until retirement, achieving the rank of colonel. On Dec. 22, 1942, he married Betty Mae Applequist in Nyman, Iowa; she preceded him in death Oct. 19, 1999.
Morris was a scholar, earning a masterís degree in geography and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Nebraska. He served as the dean of students at Huron College in Huron, S.D. He joined Carroll College as academic dean in 1957. He was later appointed vice president for academic affairs, and eventually provost. Dean Spencer enjoyed teaching the occasional American history class throughout his career until his retirement in 1985. Morris was a longtime active member of the Waukesha Noon Rotary Club and served as district governor from 1984 to 1985. As part of his Rotary service, he helped develop P.E.T.S (President Elect Training Seminars), raised money for the Rotaryís PolioPlus Program and attended six international Rotary conventions.
Morris was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Waukesha and served on the board of directors for the YMCA and at St. Johnís Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield. He was an avid rock and stamp collector as well as reader. He enjoyed novels, military history and American history books. Morris and Betty traveled throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
He will be sadly missed by his son, Andrew N. (Rena) Spencer of Waukesha; his daughter, Sara L. (James) Winkelmann of Waukesha; good friend, Royanna Benjamin of Waukesha; five grandchildren, Dr. Erin (David) Spencer-Smith of East Troy, Dr. Grant (Dr. Jill) Spencer of Estes Park, Colo., Mara (Dr. Rocco) Perugini of Waukesha, Gregory (Nicole) Winkelmann of Oconomowoc and Katie Winkelmann of Waukesha; and his six great-grandchildren, Rosie, Penelope and Cherise Smith, Milana and Daria Perugini and James Winkelmann. He is further survived by a brother, George (Margaret) Spencer of Chandler, Ariz., along with nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
In addition to his wife, Betty, his brother Robert preceded him in death.
Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. until the 3 p.m, funeral service Thursday, Aug. 18, at First Presbyterian Church, 810 N. East Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186. Burial will immediately follow at Jerusalem Cemetery in Wales.
Memorials are appreciated to the Rotary International Foundation, 14280 Collections Center Drive, Chicago, IL 60693; the Waukesha Memorial Hospital Foundation, 725 American Ave., Waukesha, WI 53188; or First Presbyterian Church (address above).
For further information, please call Randle-Dable Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services at 547-4035 or go to www.waukeshafunerals.com to leave the family an online tribute message.