On Sunday, February 19, 2017, John Haines Spencer, Jr. passed away. And the world will never be the same. Born September 15, 1936 to John Haines Spencer and Pauline Simmons Spencer, Jack was raised in Adams, Massachusetts. After graduating from Williston Prep School and Amherst College, he received a Masters in Education from Purdue University. While teaching at Williams High School in Stockbridge, he had the good fortune to meet and fall in love with Social Studies teacher Judith Leahey. On February 20, 1965, he had the good sense to marry her and continue a love affair that spanned more than fifty years. Mr. Spencer was an educator for 47 years. He taught Social Studies at Williams High School and Monument Mountain Regional High School and was Principal of Searles Middle School. He encouraged students to be conscious seekers and doers, to be disturbers of the universe. He was chair of the Monument Social Studies department from its inception in 1967. The department created the first Holocaust curriculum for high school students in the country. Jack and Roselle Chartock coedited the anthology that came out of that curriculum. Jack had a love of Stockbridge and its citizens, community activism and participation in government. He served on numerous committees and boards, including the Stockbridge Planning Board (chairman) and Zone of Appeals, The Stockbridge Library (president and member of the Board of Trustees), The Fund for Excellence and School Center, Inc. He was instrumental in writing the zoning bylaws for Stockbridge. Jack is survived by daughters Ann Marie (Scott) Miller, Kathy (Fred) Erickson, sisters Judy Burbank and Cyndie Spencer (Denny Lund), Pat and Buz Hanley, Mike and Sally Leahey, Fred Wigge an exchange student who became part of the family, grandchildren Eric, Kristen and Amanda Miller and Emily Erickson, many close cousins, nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews, the lucky 13 and generations of well-educated students, an astounding number of loving friends and a grateful community. He is predeceased by his parents Haines, Pauline and Louise Spencer, his wonderful wife Judy, and his step-mother Pat Swann.
Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community