In Memory

Stephen A. Spencer

Spec. 4 Stephen Alan Spencer, 20, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Spencer of Alton, was killed in action in Vietnam on April 24, 1971.

He was born in Oblong, Ill., Oct. 18, 1950, and graduated from Alton Senior High School in 1969.

He was employed by Laclede Steel Co. before entering the Army in January of 1970.  He began his tour of duty as a medic in Vietnam in July of 1970.  Steve served his country well by retrieving the injured soldiers wounded on the battle field. He was doing his job during a battle when the tank he was in was attacked.

In addition to his parents, he was survived by three brothers, Dennis Spencer of Alton, Dane Spencer of East Alton, and Kevin Spencer at home;  a sister, Mrs. Cindy Burns of Alton, and a half sister, Mary Ann Spencer of Godfrey. He also left behind a girlfriend as he reported for duty in Vietnam.

Visitation was held at Gent Funeral Home in Alton.  Funeral services were held at the Hillcrest Church of the Nazarene with the Rev. Thomas Edwards officiating.  Burial was in Upper Alton Cemetery.

Steve's brother-in-law, Robert Burns, who had been stationed with the Marines in the Philippines, served as the military escort from California to Alton.

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03/16/09 01:38 AM #1    

Norma Baron

Steve was my neighbor while growing up in the Alton/Godfrey area. He and his siblings lived in a house that my grandparents had lived in and sold to his mother and stepfather.

We used to play softball in a lot across the street from my house. (That was unless the old lady that owned it would chase us off! There were too many of us neighborhood kids with the need to play ball for her to keep us away too long!)

I remember several discussions he and I had about his mother and father. His biggest wish was for his parents to remarry even though his mother was married to his stepfather at the time.

After grade school, Steve took on more responsibilities for his family. He had a paper route. The field across the street was used less and less as our group grew up. I'd see him sometimes at Junior High and less at High School. He had a girlfriend. I hadn't heard he went into the service.

When I went to the funeral home to pay my respects to the family, I was not only unnerved at the news of his death, but for the fact that I had dreamt about him around the time of his death before I knew he had died!

His family assured me it wasn't out of line to have had an experience such as that. Others had similar things they were reporting. What was significant to me was the fact that his mother and father had remarried and he knew of the reunion of his parents just prior to his death.

His presence in my life and heart has not faded through the years. He was a great person wonderful friend.

03/17/09 07:04 PM #2    

Patricia L. (Lynn) Zitzman (Laughlin)

I remember Steve with a lump in my throat and a smile on my face. He was killed on April 24,1971. I too, remember him and Jim Dehner delivering papers. Steve was really a good kid! I was reading a note he had written in my Tatler....He signed it Steve Spencer...A Cool Guy.. I think that pretty well sums him up. Thanks for the memories. He will never be forgotton. Lynn Zitzman Laughlin.

03/22/09 02:18 AM #3    

Norma Baron

Thanks for the information! I ran into Kevin Spencer (Steve's younger brother) tonight! He is to get with me soon so we can give more information! Kevin's wife said she was writing to Steve in Vietnam when he died and that was how she and Kevin met.

I don't believe I had seen Kevin since before we graduated. He was about 3 years younger than us. Now after all these years we just meet after I was thinking about Steve!

That Steve can work wonders no matter where is!

Kevin sat there and told his wife almost word for word what I wrote about the ball games!

He mentioned that the Gaithers (Denny for one) lived next door to me for a while on Holland Ave. He wanted to know if I remembered that! Oh, yes, my dad rented the house to Melvin Gaither (Dennis Gaither's father!) (Dennis is also in our "In Memory" page!)

You can bet Dennis Gaither and Stephen Spencer are reminiscing as we speak! LOL!

Leave it to Steve ... he WAS A "REAL COOL GUY!" As we have the proof ... in your Tatler ... Out of the mouth of babes!

More update will come when I hear from Steve's family!

Thank you for sharing!

06/26/09 06:00 PM #4    

Rev. David W. Gentry

I was a classmate of Steve in graphic arts. We were not close but I am a Viet Nam era vet and I visited the Traveling Wall. It was a replica of the Viet Nam Memorial. I saw Steves name on the wall. I salute his service, his courage, his ultimate sacrifice. He is a true hero!

09/25/14 04:21 PM #5    

John G. Elliott

I visited the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall when it was in Estes Park, Colorado, in September 2014.  I found Steve's name among the many thousands and offer this photo for his friends and family.  I will remember him.  My gratitude to all of you who served.  -- John Elliott

09/26/14 03:20 PM #6    

Leslie D. Taylor (Neilson)

Aww, very nice John! I was in Estes Park Aug 2014.


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