SPENCER, Cecilia Even
July 28, 2013 12:44 AM
Cecilia Even Spencer passed away on May 4, 2013 at the age of 92. She was born on July 30, 1920 as the
third child of Dominic Even and Cecilia Pirsch. Even though Cecilia Even Spencer was very ill as a young child she outlived her brother Arthur and her sister Elizabeth. Cecilia was married to William D. Spencer on February 5, 1943 during WWII and together they had five children: Nicholas, Anne, Christopher, Martha, and Thomas. She is survived by her husband William (who she was married to for 70 years) and four children. (Nicholas passed away at the age of 52 years.) Cecilia also has 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren so far!
Cecilia was a remarkable wife and mother. She said many times that family was very import- ant. She prayed for her children every night and was relentless in her support of her husband William and her children. She had high ambitions for all of us: an ambition that we pursue education, faith, and a family of our own. Her influence and commitment extended to the next generation as well. Mila and Daniel lived with their Grandma for a time. Her birthday cards and Christmas checks reached all over the country as an expression of her love for her family. Cecilia was not one to hold grudges but rather reached out and extended open arms to future spouses of her children, friends, and even ex-spouses. She told us, "You are always welcome at home no matter what".
Cecilia was a parishioner of St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Goleta, California for over 50 years. She brought her children up in church attending Mass. She drove them to countless CCD classes, altar boy rehearsals, and discussed her faith openly with all of us. We are grateful that as her health diminished, that St. Raphael's reached out to her bringing communion and friendship into her home in Santa Barbara. She would often pray the Kyrie Eléison during times of pain (Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy) as she would cry out to God to help her. Her church and her God were her main strength along with her family.
There were many other interests and areas of service. Cecilia was very active in Girl Scouts. She was active as a leader in her daughters' troop and worked for many years developing leadership in other women as a trainer. She loved the outdoors. As a young woman she took many trips from Kenosha, Wisconsin to Florida and to Yellowstone National park with her grandfather, William Pirsch. She helped her children and grandchildren to develop their own talents. There were camping trips, lapidary trips, sporting events, band practice, and band concerts. Cecilia was very active in Genealogy. She was also a great weaver in her life! As she became ill, she loved to look out at her backyard which was full of bougainvillea blooms, flowers, fruit trees, and the blue sky of Santa Barbara.
One special area of mention was the Peter Pirsch and Sons fire truck manufacturing company. Cecilia's grandfather, Peter, invented the hook and ladder fire truck along with many other devices. This company had a country wide reputation for fine fire equipment and Santa Barbara had a Pirsch fire truck for many years. Cecilia loved to tell of a story of when shedrove a Pirsch fire truck in a parade - before she had her driver's license! Everyone survived. Cecilia was part of a remarkable family and with her blessing; we will all continue to live remembering her. We honor our mother and grandmother, Cecilia Even Spencer.
Written by Christopher Spencer