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Donald Spencer 1922-2017

January 31, 2017
Emmetsburg News

RUTHVEN -- A Mass of Christian Burial for Donald W. Spencer of Ruthven was held Monday, Jan. 30, at Holy Cross Resurrection Chapel in Ruthven. Concelebrants were the Rev. Peter Nguyen and the Rev. Richard Ries.

Interment was in the Thorton Cemetery at Van Meter. The Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Ruthven is in charge of arrangements.

Donald William Spencer, son of William and Mary (Jungman) Spencer, was born Jan. 11, 1922 at the family home in Valley Junction. Don received his education in West Des Moines and graduated from Valley High School in 1940.

At the age of 16 Don began working at Meredith Publishing in the binding department for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. After graduating he took a job at a locker processing plant in Van Meter. After the sudden death of his father, Don and his mother moved to Ruthven to begin farming near Lost Island Lake. Besides farming, Don also worked at the Ruthven and Spencer lockers butchering and cutting meat.

On December 29, 1962 Don was married to Ruth Brock at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Spencer, Iowa.

Don was a two-term State Legislator, serving District 4 in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1975 - 1979. In 1978, Don received the Iowa State Police Association award recognizing his dedication and outstanding contribution toward law enforcement legislation.

Don was a member of Farm Bureau, Ruthven and Dickens Co-op Elevators and Ruthven Co-op Oil.

Don was raised in the Catholic faith and was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ruthven. He served as Trustee of Calvary Cemetery for twenty five years.

Don's faith was very important to him and in 1997 he and Ruth built the Holy Cross Resurrection Chapel south of their home. The chapel was open for public use, celebrating weddings, funerals, and weekend church services.

Don passed away Thursday, January 26, 2017 at the Ruthven Community Care Center at the age of 95. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ruth on April 2, 2015; a sister, Vivian Tuttle and her husband, Clyde "Jake"; brothers-in-law and sisters-in- law, Florence and Bert Brock, Boyd Brock, and Lucille and Anthony Arbisi.

Survivors include his niece, Judy Tuttle Coldiron and her husband, Bill; Ruth's nieces, Nancy Brock Welle and Linda Brock Schomaker; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Dale and Liz Brock, Wayne and Dorine Brock, and Jean and Kerry Charlet his loyal friends, Willie Bielfeldt, Larry Swingen, Peter Hart and Rev. Peter Nguyen.

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