Lieu de naissance : Nouvelle Ecosse, Canada
Lieu de décès : Nouvelle Ecosse, Canada
Date de décès : 23 juillet 2012
BEDFORD – Robert DeWitt Spencer. Born May 30, 1948. Died July 23, 2012, of cancer.
Robbie was 64 years old when he died, but he packed the enjoyment of a thousand lives into that time.
Rob leaves his wife, Anne; two children, David and Colin; his siblings John (Nancy), Anne and Donnie (Helen), in-laws as well as numerous friends and colleagues.
Over nearly 35 years, Rob and Anne gave each other stability, the space to be independent, and a fierce, loyal, intelligent love. A born teacher, Rob worked at schools in New Glasgow and Newfoundland for three years but continued to open up new ways of looking at the world for family and friends throughout his life. He and Anne patiently and thoughtfully taught sons David and Colin to live with curiosity, compassion, and humour. Part of his gift for teaching came from his ability to captivate young and old alike with often self-deprecating stories of his adventures – for example, removing a wasps’ nest (and some of the eaves) with a dynamite cap delivered via arrow. Kids and animals instantly adored Rob, which was a testament to his beautiful soul. Rob served as a Scout Leader (and often a Mad Scientist on Halloween). An engineer by profession, Rob’s creativity didn’t stop at designing systems or building projects from a fish smoker to a cottage. His unflagging sense of wonderment led him to dive into rocket building, astronomy, quantum mechanics, painting, wood-carving, carpentry, designing games, fireworks, music, mushroom hunting and even the microscopic world of pond scum. He explored the depths of space with his telescope and the mysteries of broken plumbing with his wrench. The values he learned in life were often won from the consequences of wide experimentation (including making nitroglycerin).
A fly-fisherman, sportsman and nature lover, Rob also served as Commodore of the St. Margaret’s Sailing Club from 2005 to 2007. At Trihedral Engineering, which he co-founded, he and his partners built an international company that valued honesty, creativity, hard work and respect – as well as fun. He was a true, principled leader, who was a model of the values he wanted in his organization. It was no surprise to anyone who knew the company that it was named one of Nova Scotia’s Top 15 Employers for six years consecutively. Robbie loved people. His mischievous grin, his warm personality, and his laugh – the type of laugh that made you want to laugh right along with him – made sure everyone was included in the joke. His warmth and generosity made him a legendary Santa Claus, for family and colleagues. Nieces and nephews looked forward to his “awesome” gifts with such anticipation that they always opened them Christmas Eve.
After being diagnosed with cancer and told he had a year to live, Rob continued to embrace the good and fun in life as best he could, supported by Anne and the kids, along with many family and friends, and some wonderful health care professionals. Despite discomfort, he continued to find ways to give those around him happiness, watching their enjoyment from his perch on the couch.
Rob touched the lives of everyone he met. All his family and friends will all miss him terribly. We remember the person he was – someone who inspired us to become better human beings, simply by knowing him.
Visitation 7-9 p.m. Thursday, July 26 at the R.H. Porter Funeral Home, New Glasgow and 7-9 p.m. Friday at the Bedford United Church, Bedford. Funeral service Saturday at 10:30 a.m., Bedford United.
Donations can be made to the Robert Spencer Memorial Bursary, to help high school students with potential to grow (email firstname.lastname@example.org for info), or to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Condolences may be sent by visiting: www.rhporter.ca