From a young age, Nancy Spencer had obstacles she had to overcome, said her daughter, Elaine Spencer.
At age 4, she had back surgery that required her to be in a body cast for a year. She would push herself around on a cart, lying on her stomach, her daughter said.
As a teenager, she went blind in one eye and couldn’t learn to drive.
“That didn’t stop her from going to the places she wanted to or from working a part-time job,” she said. “She knew all the bus schedules in Chicago, and if there wasn’t bus transportation, that didn’t hold her back. She would walk for many miles to get to her destination.”
Nancy Spencer, 74, a 40-year resident of Whiting, died Oct. 12. She is survived by her husband of 43 years, David Spencer.
She was a graduate of Hyde Park High School, where she played first violin in the orchestra.
“Mom’s passion was for violin music,” her daughter said. “Her eyes would light up when she would hear violin music.”
She was a selfless woman who was always determined to accomplish what she put her mind to.
She enjoyed doing household projects, from carpet shampooing to painting and moving furniture.
She loved Christmas, and would buy meaningful gifts for everyone, including neighbors and relatives from out of state.
“It would put a proud smile on her face to handcraft some of her gifts, including handmade and hand-drawn greeting cards,” she said. “My mother was very creative and talented.”
Spencer was friendly and social, with a dry sense of humor. She loved making new friends and was very spontaneous. She loved taking long walks to meditate and reflect.
She and her husband loved camping and boating, and going on yearly trips.
She was a supportive mother, always available.
“Family came first and by choice of her own, Mom always made herself last,” Elaine Spencer said. “She valued her family and her faith, and always did everything she did up to the fullest.”