Joseph Spencer, 91, of Pinellas Park, Florida, passed away Friday, August 19, 2016, at C.W. Young VA Medical Center. He was born in Wingate, North Carolina, and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He spent 10 years in private and formal study for a career in voice, which was interrupted by three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a USS Farragut radarman.
He was a salesman in selling school and church furniture during 1950s, and he learned basics of enameling and experiments of torch-fired enameling in 1960s. In 1970, Joe and his wife, Lois, participated in a one-man art show at four-regional shopping malls in Minneapolis/St. Paul for four years. In 1974, they relocated to Clearwater, Florida, involving art shows at the world-famous Kapok Tree Inn and touring with the World Art Shows. In 1976, they built their first studio in Clearwater and in 1983 a second larger studio in Safety Harbor. Joe was an active enameling pioneer for 46 years until his death – for his life, the lure of the flames is irresistible.
Joe’s love involved in singing an opera and growing bonsai trees. His favorite sayings were “We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got,” “Happiness is …, and “Chase a bear with a switch.”
Joe is survived by loving daughter, Jo Ellen (Steven) Spencer-Granaas, of Blaine, Minnesota, and son, Curt (Diane) Spencer of Tinley Park, Illinois; dear brother of Dean Spencer of St. Louis, Missouri; special dear friends, Linda and Matthew Clark and Jim and Cheryl Anne Swallow; and beloved cats, Romeo and Molly. Preceded in death by his parents, Roscoe and Maymie Spencer; brothers, Rex and Paul Spencer; and sister, Cecilia Ann Siverly.
We have loved him in life, let us not forget him after death. Contributions to Pinellas Public Library Cooperative Deaf Literacy Center, 101 Second Street N., Safety Harbor, Florida 34695, would be appreciated.