James R. Spencer, SMSgt, USAF, retired, 94, of O'Fallon, Ill., was born on March 7, 1928, in Bexar. He is the oldest of eight children. He passed away on Aug. 19, 2022, at the Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Ill.
He grew up in Alabama, and enlisted in the Army Air Forces as a young man. When the Air Force was created in 1947, he chose to continue his military service with the Air Force, serving a total of 22 years. As an electronics and radio operator, he participated in the 1948-49 Berlin Airlift and served during the Korean Conflict. Following retirement from the military, he worked as a Sales Engineer at General Electric in St. Louis. He was proud that he came from the cotton fields of Alabama, but yet travelled the world. He was proud of his children and grandchildren and always put his family first. He met his future wife at a picnic in St. Louis, and married Vernell Clara Heins on April 7, 1951.
Mr. Spencer is survived by his wife - Vernell Spencer; son - Gary (Kendrea) Spencer of Amelia Island, Fla.; daughter - Sherry (Bruce) Enskat of Citrus Springs, Fla.; grandchildren - Timothy Enskat, Nicholas (Jennifer) Spencer, Aaron (Emily) Enskat and Cody Spencer; and two great-grandchildren - Joshua Spencer and Clara Enskat.
He was preceded in death by his parents - James Austin and Willie Bea, nee Hadley, Spencer.
A private service was held for Mr. Spencer with burial following with military honors at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
Memorial donations may be made to O'Fallon United Church of Christ or donor's charity of choice, and will be accepted at the funeral home. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.wfh-ofallon.com.
Wolfersberger Funeral Home
102 West Washington Street
O'Fallon, Ill. 62269
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