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“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40

Associate William “Bill” Spencer surely heard these words often throughout his life and as he entered the gates of heaven on July 16, 2015, at age 81. The kind of person who helped people have a better life, Bill will be remembered for his many hours working full time as a volunteer to provide financial counseling with the homeless, low income people, and refugees.

An Associate since 1988, Bill volunteered for more than 18 years for the poor and the homeless in the Dayton, Ohio, area, serving the St. Vincent de Paul Center, St. Vincent Hotel for the homeless, Catholic Social Services, and the Samaritan Homeless Clinic where he spoke every Friday.
For many years, Bill helped organize the picnics held after our Covenant Ceremony in Cincinnati, Ohio. He often expressed that being in relationship with the Sisters, whose philosophy is to serve the needs of the poor, sustained and supported him in his own life. Bill was committed to the values of Franciscan spirituality and to the life and mission of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.

He graduated from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, and completed his graduate studies at Purdue University. He held a doctorate in biochemistry. Bill retired at age 62 from St. Elizabeth Medical Center, where he worked as a clinical chemist and director of the laboratory. He worked closely with the Dayton police to resolve criminal cases through blood testing in the lab.

Instrumental in organizing the Franciscan Games held through the Franciscan Health System, Bill also spearheaded fundraisers with Sisters and health system employees to ensure that all could participate in the Franciscan Games in New York.  

At the time of his death, Bill was creating a video on how to instruct homeless men to achieve and maintain financial stability. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Associate Peg Spencer; children Jim (Lisa) Spencer and Mary (Jon Watson) Spencer; grandchildren Michael and Nick Spencer; sister Dr. Carol Anne Rizvi; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Well done, good and faithful servant!

Joan Mills, Director of Associates

Published: February, 17, 2016