Philip Howard Spencer dies at 96 years old

Yesterday I attended the memorial service for cousin Philip (with one L like the disciple- he says) Howard Spencer at the Media Presbyterian Church in Media, PA. It was a wonderful celebration of his life with many of his paintings, photos and great stories told by his sons and grandchildren. Cousin Phil, born 24 Jan 1927, died 10 Jun 2023 at Maris Grove Retirement Village, in Glen Mills, PA, was the son of Howard and Mary (White) Spencer.

“He is survived by a sister, Eizabeth Drusedum and three sons, Blake Spencer (Jennifer Brown) of Strafford, VT; Scott Spencer (Barbara) of Rehoboth, MA and Stuart Spencer (Leslie) of Moorestown, NJ. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Christopher McGrath (Catherine), Robin Spencer, Katies Spencer, Annik Spencer Allen (Danny), Samuel Spencer, and Miles Spencer, and one great grandchild, Thomas McGrath. He spent his career as a partner of Spencer Stationary Company in Chester, PA and was a Navy veteran of World War II.

A man of deep faith, Philip was a longtime Elder and Bible teacher at Media Presbyterian Church where he fostered his love of music by singing tenor in the choir. He also volunteered with the Salvation Army for more than five decades. Always charming and quick with a joke, Philip loved to be around people and people loved to be around him. Anyone who met him couldn’t help but feel the warmth of his open heart, curious nature, honorable character, and compassion for others. He loved jazz music, had a nearly encyclopedic memory for song lyrics and could always be found spinning people around the dance floor at weddings and family gatherings, eye twinkling in his signature bow tie. A self-taught, talented watercolorist, many have Philip’s paintings proudly displayed in their homes. Philip will be profoundly missed, but his spirit will live on in the impact that he has left on so many.” ( From memorial program)

His many likes and talents were incorporated in his service, with the City Brass band playing jazzy songs, finalizing with “As The Saints Go Marching In” sung by those in attendance and Rev. Rose Sparrow lifting her glorious voice above all.

I love catching up with the cousins and they were there in multiples. It was a chance to find out who has gotten married, had babies and extended the family, since we were together for Phil’s brother’s memorial service (Robert White Spencer). I will be one of the many who will greatly miss having lunch with Phil and hearing his stories. RIP, Phil

Footprints: Two Brothers – One Family – The Whites

My White Family history in two volumes landed on my doorstep today. Wahoo! What a yeomen’s effort of Joyce Hughes and Marsha Pilger. Joyce worked on this history until her death and then the burden fell on Marsha. She has done a fine job and it looks great. I’ll be spending the weekend in Charlottesville, VA watching Sam’s American U. soccer game and reading my books.

I helped Joyce with my part of the family. She had a good start, however I have kept track of a lot of the White cousins through hosting a White Family reunion a number of years. I was able to locate descendants of Alexander Right and Mary Ella (Hess) White’s children. I found someone in each of the married children’s families. The children of Alex and Mary Ella include: Nettie (never married); Bess White Hosler (Gilbert); Sara White Myers (Melvin); Mary White Spencer (Howard); Grace White Hooker (James); William Walter White (my grandfather) (Effie); Charles A. White (Louise); and Earle White (Margaret). We are scattered to the four corners of the US and some of the great, great grands are living abroad.

I thought the Whites had not moved out of Pennsylvania until I was researching Thomas White as a Revolutionary War patriot for DAR. Alas, this is not true. William White who married Hannah Milliken moved West and died in Pana, Illinois. Last year, Al and I were traveling Route 30 west and stopped in Pana to find where they are buried. This story you can read in a previous blog posting. Anyway, if anyone is so inclined to travel there, let me know.

Thanks to Marsha Pilger for finishing Joyce’s work and publishing this wonderful history of our family.

Erin Spencer and Asha deVos National Geographic Special

According to the National Geographic website, cousin Erin Spencer will be featured on February 24, 2021 at 4:00 pm on YouTube. Below is copied of the information from the Nat Geo site. For more information about this program go to to sign up. If you are a teacher, this is a great place to find educational programs to be used in your classroom.

“Asha de Vos is a Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator, and blue whale expert. She founded the nonprofit Oceanswell to educate the next generation of ocean heroes and in 2019, Asha was named one of 12 Women Changemakers by the Parliament of Sri Lanka.

Erin Spencer is a marine ecologist and science communicator focusing on fisheries conservation and management. Her recent work has focused on the mislabeling of seafood in the United States and innovative responses to invasive species management.

Asha and Erin are together onboard the OceanXplorer with scientists and technologists from around the world. They’re currently offshore in the Bahamas, which is their first stop on a mission to explore the most unreachable parts of the ocean! Join them to hear behind-the-scenes stories from the frontlines of ocean exploration.” 

Meg Ellen Spencer Memorial Service

Last week I attended a lovely memorial service for Meg Ellen Spencer, who died suddenly in an auto accident.  I only remember meeting her once or twice at a family reunion, but learned a lot about her from family, friends and colleagues at the service.

Meg was a librarian at the Cornell Science Library at Swarthmore College and headed many programs for the school.  An avid reader, she shared a love of books of all catagories, with everyone.

Meg was 55 years old and is survived by brother, Lon of England; sisters, Amy  and Anne.  Her father, Earl passed away last year.

Lots of White/Spencer family attended the service and stayed for cupcakes afterwards, so I was able to catch up with the cousins.  We have decided to hold another White Family reunion next July, 2016 so stand by for further details.