A Reflection of Life
The Anson Record had gone to press when.......
John W. Spencer, the third of three children in the home, would arrive to be raised by Mr. and Mrs. James and Harriet Ann Spencer on June 22, 1932 in Wadesboro, North Carolina.
John grew up in a home where an abundance of love, sharing and caring were always present. Christian values were instilled early by his parents and he followed their teachings throughout his lifetime. His basic education was received in the Anson County Public School System where he attended J.R. Faison, graduating in 1949 at the age of seventeen. Although John had been accepted by and received many college offers, it was a chance encounter with a United States Air Force recruiter in July 1949 that would lead to a distinguished career. A group of his friends would take a trip to take a test for acceptance into the United States Air Force and he would go along just for the ride. Ironically, he would be the only one to score high enough to join the Air Force.
John would embark upon a 34-year stint in the Air Force that would take him all over the world from Southeast Asia to Germany, England, Italy and Stateside from California to New Jersey, living in many states. During his tenure, John fought in the Korean Conflict and the Viet Nam War. He quickly rose to the top tier of the enlisted ranks as a Chief Master Sergeant and was later appointed to the distinguished position of Command Master Chief.
John received many military decorations including the Bronze Star and the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. However, he would have told you the greatest achievement would occur on March 4, 1956, when he married his childhood sweetheart, Callie Ruth Lewis in Chesterfield, South Carolina. From this union, twins were born, Dianna and David. John adored his wife and children and spent his entire life showering them with love and all the comforts of life. They were an extremely close-knit family. His wife Callie, preceded him death.
John retired from the United States Air Force and Joined he United States Postal Service. He would spend 24 years beginning as a Letter Carrier and retiring as a Branch Manager while using the discipline he developed the Air Force to increase his role and responsibility in US Postal Service. Altogether, John spent 58 years in service to the Federal Government, before retiring in 2008 the Perrine area.
In addition to his career, John was a 33rd Degree Mason, a lifetime member of Toastmasters International, a member of the Miami Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen and a member of various Veterans Organizations (Viet Nam Vets, Wounded Warriors) to name a few.
On October 12, 2016, John was admitted into Baptist Hospital. No expense was spared in providing the best in medical care. John, as predicted, had his "House in Order ;" he amazed his nurses and doctors with his strong will. And so it was in life as it was in death, John showed a will and determination to remain here until the death angels came to call him home, at 1:43 PM Monday, 17, 2016.
Loving, honoring and cherishing his memories are his children: Dianna Spencer (Gene M., Jr.) Bell and David L (Gaynell) Spencer; his sisters: Bettie A Smith of Wadesboro North Carolina and Shirley Rorie Thompson of Sleepy Hollow, New York; his brother, Fred Sturdivant of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; his brother-in-law, Patrick (Edna P.) Lewis of Wadesboro, North Carolina; four grandchildren: Darius, Ashley, Simone Spencer and Ian C. Bell and a host of nieces and nephews, Homestead Air Force Base personnel, US Postal Service personnel and fellow Miami Chapter Tuskegee Airmen Members who all loved him dearly.
WHO ARE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN?
"Tuskegee Airmen" refers to the men and women, African-Americans and Caucasians, who were involved in the so-called "Tuskegee Experience", the Army Air Corps program to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors, and all the personnel who kept the planes in the air.
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