Robert Winston Spencer


Robert Winston Spencer

Hauser, Kootenai County, Idaho, USA
Death 2 Jun 1991 (aged 69)
Orofino, Clearwater County, Idaho, USA
Burial Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho, USA
Plot GAR-07-13
Memorial ID 74478299 View Source
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Link to the following was provided by Jim Flack #47120834
OBIT: The Lewiston Tribune - Posted Jun 4, 1991

OROFINO - Robert W. Spencer, who had served as the director of the Clearwater Museum in Orofino since 1981, died of pneumonia Sunday at the Clearwater Valley Hospital in Orofino. He was 69.

Spencer also served as chairman of the board of the Clearwater Memorial Public Library in Orofino and was a retired U.S. Forest Service employee.

He was born May 26, 1922, at Hauser Lake, Idaho, to Kenneth D. and Mabelle Crane Spencer. The family lived at Powell, Wyo., Lewiston, Kellogg, Wallace and Moscow before moving to Coeur d'Alene in 1935.

He graduated from Coeur d'Alene High School in 1939 and attended North Idaho Junior College (now North Idaho College)at Coeur d'Alene while working as a watchmaker for Spencer's Jewelry, the family store.

In 1941, he enrolled at the University of Idaho at Moscow, where he studied civil engineering. During the summers he worked for the U.S. Forest Service blister rust program.

Spencer enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1943 and served at Assam, India, and Shanghai, China. While in the service, he also attended Chaffee Junior College and Stanford University in California.

Following his discharge, Spencer returned to UI and graduated in 1949 with a degree in forestry. He worked for the Idaho State Forestry Department (now known as the Department of Lands) before receiving a civil service appointment in 1951.

He worked as an assistant ranger on the Wallace District of the Coeur d'Alene National Forest, then transferred to the Nez Perce National Forest, where he was assistant ranger on the Clearwater District from 1954 to 1956.

He later transferred to the Clearwater National Forest's Pierce District, where he developed the forest's first timber management plan.

In 1957, he moved to the supervisor's office in Orofino, where he was the timber management planner and assistant staff officer.

While with the supervisor's office, he worked in silviculture and helped develop satellite and high altitude photography on the forest. He was trained in remote sensing at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Houston. He also led in the planting of 200,000 seedling trees on 2,000 acres on Cook Mountain. He retired from the Forest Service in 1980.

Spencer was active in civic affairs, and was appointed a member of the Clearwater Planning and Zoning Commission when it formed in 1963. He served for 15 years, most of that time as chairman.

He was also appointed to the Orofino City Council in 1967 and was elected to a two-year term in 1968. He was active in the annual sixth-grade forestry tours for 23 years.

He was a charter member of the Clearwater Historical Society and became museum director in 1981. He was a member of the Fort Sherman Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Society of American Foresters. He also served on the Clearwater Canyons Scenic Route advisory board, was co-chairman of the Clearwater County Centennial Celebration Commission and assisted with the Time Capsule Project.

He was also active in the preservation of the Pierce Courthouse and the planning of the Centennial Trail pathway.

Spencer was a member of the Idaho Endowment for the Humanities, the Idaho State Library Association and was a former member and officer of the Lions Club.

He married Layne Gellner in Coeur d'Alene.

Survivors include his wife of Orofino; four daughters, Susan Gwen Stiger of Idaho Falls, Katherine Marie Carper of Coeur d'Alene, Barbara Ellen Boda of Gresham, Ore., and Mary Elizabeth Hainline of Spokane; three sisters, Jean Lafrenz and Marjorie Sumption, both of Vancouver, Wash., and Madelyn Larson of Moscow; four grandchildren and three stepgrandchildren.

The funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Methodist Church at Orofino.

The graveside service is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Forest Cemetery at Coeur d'Alene.

The family suggests memorials be sent to the Clearwater Memorial Library at Orofino.

Uhlorn Funeral Home at Cottonwood and Yates Funeral Home at Coeur d'Alene are in charge of arrangements.

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