William “Bill” Spencer of Auburn, Alabama, passed away December 26, 2019, at East Alabama Medical Center, in Opelika, Alabama.
Dr. Spencer was born January 5, 1941, in Salem, Illinois, the son of William Howard Spencer and Alma Gertrude Spencer. He graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, and attended Spanish Language School in Costa Rica, to prepare for a three-year service as a Missionary English Language Teacher at the American School in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He then undertook graduate studies at the University of Illinois, earning the PhD in Comparative and International Education in June 1972.
In 1971, Dr. Spencer started his teaching career at Auburn University in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology. For nearly 40 years, he served as a professor, inspiring thousands of teachers and school personnel, enhancing their academic experience and promoting their personal growth, and, in turn, was recognized with several teaching awards. He was also respected by his Auburn University colleagues, who twice selected him department head. Actively involved in professional organizations, he was elected president of Mid-South Educational Research Association.
Dr. Spencer is survived by his wife, Samia Iskander Spencer, and two sons, Sam William Spencer of Champaign, Illinois, and Mark Alexander Spencer of Huntsville, Alabama. He was a loving and supporting husband and father, a dedicated teacher and respected colleague, and a beloved and warmhearted friend for many in the Auburn community, around the state and the region, and in other parts of the world as well, especially in Egypt, France and Canada. He was appreciated by all for his sense of humor and his ability to befriend people from different social and cultural backgrounds.
In 2005, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, which he bravely fought for 14 years, enjoying life to the fullest, traveling around the globe, discovering new countries, and spending quality time with family, friends, and relatives. He was thankful for the exceptional care and support he received in the EAMC/E.L. Spencer Cancer Center from Dr. Linda Farmer and her staff, whose tireless efforts on his behalf deserve special recognition.
Visitation will be held at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home, Friday, January 3, 2020, between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. A memorial service will take place Saturday, January 4, 2020, at 10:00 am, at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn, to be followed by interment at Town Creek Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to EAMC Cancer Center Foundation, designating “honoring the works of Dr. Linda Farmer on behalf of Dr. William A. Spencer” (EAMC Cancer Center Foundation, 2000 Pepperell Parkway, Opelika, AL 36801), or to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (100 Church Drive, Auburn, AL 36830).
Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home and Crematory directing.
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