Nancy Spencer Obituary
Nancy Spencer (née Hubbard) passed away on New Year’s Day, 2024, just shy of her 96th birthday. She was born in Washington, D.C. in 1928. After a fascinating childhood in the heart of our nation’s government, she met Stephen Spencer who was a sailor in the United States Navy. They got married in 1948 and stayed in D.C. for a while. There Nancy worked for the CIA during the early days of the Cold War. She would always say it was her favorite job.
In the 50’s, the young couple moved to upstate New York and had two children: Clay and Todd. Stephen joined an Aerospace firm and soon the family moved to California. They started in Torrance then later settled down in Fullerton, where they had two more children, Sallie and Daniel. It was Fullerton that would become Nancy’s permanent home.
In 1971, tragedy struck when Stephen unexpectedly passed away and life came crashing down on the Spencer Family. Nancy, who was busy raising her four children, had to become the provider as well. She went back to night school, obtained her Master’s Degree and secured a position at the City of Fullerton where she would establish her career for the next 20 years.
Later on, when Nancy saw that her grandson Matt needed help, she stepped in and became his legal guardian (along with his other grandma, Marlene) and provided a home for him too.
And she didn’t stop there.
While she was Personnel Manager for the City of Fullerton she began doing volunteer work that expanded rapidly during her retirement. Positions included: Personnel Commissioner (Fullerton School District), President of Fullerton Beautiful, Parks & Recreation Commissioner, Member of the Fullerton Sister City Program, Member of Orange County Board of Child Guidance and President of the Southern California Personnel Managers Association.
Nancy eventually met a lovely man named Leo Guolo. A kind and gentle soul, Leo not only enriched Nancy’s life, but her children’s as well. They looked up to him as a father figure.
Travel was a big deal for Nancy. She traveled all around the globe, but the place she spoke about most was France. She was even able to celebrate her 80th birthday in Paris, a trip that gave us all fond memories till this day.
Besides travel, gardening was Nancy’s other love. Over the years she turned her spacious yard into a veritable nursery, with rose gardens, vegetables and herbs, orchards, succulents — you name it. Her home was on the Fullerton Garden Tour several times, and was even featured on HGTV in 1996. Her passion for gardening influenced her children to grow their own gardens as well.
Anyone who has met Nancy would appreciate their long chats, and you would have been fortunate to have visited with her in her garden! She was a true conversationalist and enjoyed sharing her thoughts with friends.
Nancy is survived by her children Clay, Todd, Sallie and Daniel, her grandchildren Matt, Stephen, Adam, Patrick, Keith, Bryn and Cameron, and her great-grandchildren Leo, Charlie, Leon and Dean.
She was an inspiration, and will be sorely missed!