Betty Jean (McGuire) Spencer

Born: Tue., Jan. 7, 1936
Died: Sat., Nov. 9, 2019


Funeral Service

11:00 AM Wed., Nov. 20, 2019
Location: Holy Cross Catholic Church


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Music by The Piano Brothers


After an extended illness and a life of constant giving and loving to her husband of 59 years, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, colleagues at Emory University Hospital, friends at church, friends at book club, and abundant friends elsewhere, Betty Jean Spencer went to be with the Lord on November 9, 2019.  A funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday November 20th at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Tucker, GA. Visitation will precede the mass at 10:00 a.m. and lunch will follow. The burial will be at the Honey Creek Woodlands at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA on the 20th at 3:30 p.m.

Betty was born in 1936 the daughter of Morris McGuire and Irma Link McGuire and was also raised by her grandmother, who she loved dearly, Anna Link.  Betty completed her degree in physical therapy from the University of Wisconsin before marrying Gilbert Joseph Spencer.  Betty began her career as a physical therapist at Heinz Hospital in Chicago but later, as the number of children increased, became a homemaker. Being a homemaker during the 60s and 70s suited her engaging leadership personality as she led civic organizations and won awards for “Mother of the Week” in Mt. Prospect, IL. 

Upon moving to Atlanta in 1977, Betty decided to renew her license as a physical therapist.  Emory agreed to hire her if she did so.  So, she went up into the bathroom upstairs, started studying, passed her boards, worked joyfully, and retired from Emory in 1996. 

During all this time, there was always very delicious and creative food cooked at home, always an open-door for friends, family, children and grandchildren, faithful leadership in church and civic groups, music, flowers, and love.  Her grandchildren knew they could “show-up” at grandma’s house night or day and be served a meal and loved better than anywhere else in the world – even during an ice storm.

Betty will be missed here on earth, but the heavens are surely delighted by her arrival – especially Gilbert who is smiling and whistling a happy tune.

Betty is survived by her sisters Margaret Franzen (Karl) and Miriam Gillman (Dean); her children, Michael Spencer (Gina) (Augusta), Anne Duke (Stephen) (Athens), Miriam Margaret Simmons (Gregory) (Fort Worth), Paula Sawyer (Atlanta), and Catherine Jean Spencer (Atlanta); twelve grandchildren, Alex Spencer (Emily), Andrew Spencer (Elizabeth), Anna Sheldon (Josh), Anthony Joseph Spencer (Andrea), John Gilbert Duke (Taylor), Caleb Spencer Simmons, Hannah Simmons, Hope McGuire Simmons, Lydia Simmons, Luke Simmons, Elspeth Sawyer (engaged to Shane), and Alice Sawyer; seven great-grandchildren, Hadley Spencer, Bridget Spencer, Paige Spencer, Charlie Spencer, Carson Spencer, Remington Sheldon, and Henley Duke; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends from all over.

In lieu of gifts and flowers donations may be made to the St. Martin de Porres ministry at Holy Cross.

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