Herbert Robert (Herb) Spencer, 87, of Artesia, New Mexico, went to be with The LORD on Friday, March 30. Surrounded by his family and following a brief illness, Herb died at Artesia General Hospital. Herb was a husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, and wonderful friend to many. He was deeply loved.
Herb was born in Roswell, New Mexico on June 14, 1930 to Herbert Francis and Minnie Welke Spencer, both deceased. The family relocated to Carlsbad where Herb played football for Carlsbad High School and graduated in 1948. As a teen, WWII Flying Tigers General Claire Chennault took Herb under his wing, developing his love for the mountains as a surveyor for the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) in the Dakotas and Colorado. He attended The University of New Mexico. From 1949 -1952 Herb worked for the Potash Company of America (PCA) as a chemical lab technician. He married Ann Reese Spencer, on August 10, 1950 in Carlsbad, New Mexico and they lived together in Artesia, New Mexico for 67 years until his death.
A man of quiet strength, rising daily at 5:00AM, 365 days per year, Herb was steadfast and honest in his more than sixty-five year career in the oil and gas industry. He was a partner in Simms and Reese Oil Company from 1952-1963 and Heinsch and Spencer Oil Company (H&S Oil Company) from 1963-1996. Herb was the managing member of H&S Oil, LLC from 1996 until his death. Herb was known for his self-effacing approach to life. His concern for others came before concerns for himself. He was quick to offer a smile, an encouraging word, or his pocket knife.
This same concern carried over in Herb’s private life as well. Though a man of few words, he was fiercely loyal to his family and friends. He was known for “always doing the right thing.” He lived by the Golden Rule and was not greedy for glory. Herb did not pretend to have the answers to life’s hard questions. He would respond with his signature gesture of a shrug accompanied by upturned hands.
Herb was a man of the earth, streams, and sky. Herb was most at-one with nature, his inner world, and with God when he was surveying the land, trout fishing, or flying. However, flying was Herb’s passion. Though his dream of being an Air Force pilot during WWII was never realized, Herb earned his pilot’s license and instrument rating. He was a charter member and sole remaining member of the Artesia Flying Club. Herb had the soul of a romantic. He often described his experiences with one word, “beautiful.” He loved cowboy poetry, all genres of music, stories of heroism, and desert sunrises/sunsets. He loved eating chocolate pie and fried catfish.
Though a man of nature, Herb believed in developing his local community. He was a member during the 1960’s of the Artesia Jaycees, a young adult service club. He helped develop Jaycee Park West of Artesia and laid irrigation pipe for the proposed Artesia Golf Course. He and Ann were avid supporters of Artesia Bulldog Football and attended home games for decades.
Herb is survived by his wife, Ann Reese Spencer of Artesia; his three daughters Beverlee Lanning and husband David of Roswell, New Mexico; Kary Ross and husband Robert of Searcy, Arkansas; Bobbie Mohler and husband Gary of Warsaw, Indiana. Surviving Herb are five grandchildren: Matthew Lanning and wife Megan of Mansfield, Texas; R. Taylor Ross and wife Elizabeth of Searcy, Arkansas; Amanda Fletcher Furbee of Portland, Oregon; Spencer Ross and wife Becca of Searcy, Arkansas; Christopher Fletcher and wife Karmen of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Also surviving Herb are his thirteen great grandchildren. Herb is also survived by his brother Philip Michael and wife Beverly, and his sister, Virginia Lea Easterling and husband Danny, all of Carlsbad. Herb was loved by numerous nieces and nephews who survive him. Preceding Herb in death are his parents and his younger sister, Beverly Ruth Spencer.
The family is thankful for those who honored Herb in his later years and up until two weeks ago, by providing transportation and other supports so that he could continue his daily breakfasts at Wings Restaurant and his work-life routine after he could no longer drive himself. Thank-you for the many who are coming forward to say he was their favorite customer, client, or patron. Thank-you for cherishing Herb as much as we do.
Memorial services for Herb Spencer will be Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 10:00 AM at First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 402 West Grand, Artesia, New Mexico. Visitation with Ann and the family is scheduled for Wednesday, April 4 from 10:00AM -12:00PM at Good Life Senior Living, 906 Pistachio Trail, Artesia, New Mexico.
Send cards and flowers to the memorial service or to Good Life Senior Living, 906 Pistachio Trail, Artesia, New Mexico 88210.
Memorials in Herb’s name may be sent to:
New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home (NMBCH), PO Box 629, Portales, New Mexico 88130
First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 402 West Grand, Artesia, New Mexico 88210
The Elks Lodge of Artesia, P.O. Box 1271, Artesia, New Mexico 88211-1271
Artesia General Hospital, 702 North 13th Street, Artesia, New Mexico 88210
Orphans in Nepal c/o Kainos, Taylor & Liz Ross 403 Llama Drive, Searcy, AR 72143
To the family and friends of Mr. Herbert Robert Spencer Please accept my condolences for your great loss. As you remember this hard working man may you get some comfort from the words at John 5: 28 and 29 with the promise a wonderful future.
Clarence EtienneAtlanta, NM
My sincerest condolences for everyone's loss. Herb was a wonderful boss and friend. It's been a pleasure knowing him. He will be so missed. My prayers for you, Ann, Beverley & David, Kary & Robert, Bobbie & Gary and all his other family members.
LaRue PinsonArtesia, NM
Condolences and much love to the family.
George and ReginaArtesia, NM
The only man I ever admired, respected and love as much as my own Father. He will always be a part of my mind and heart.
Ed TibbsBranson West, MO
To all of Herb's "girls" my deepest sympathies. Godspeed to you sir, Godspeed!
Vern BoltonRoswell, NM
I had the pleasure of meeting Herb when I worked at the airport in Artesia. At first I thought he was just a grumpy old man but learned he was the nicest guy that you would ever want to know. He was crusty, but in that special kind of way...
Riley RayHot Springs Village, AR
Dub and Dewana Gray, NM
So sorry to hear that Herbie passed away. He was a sweetheart and Dub and I have so many good memories of our times together. Condolences to Ann and their daughters.
I rarely sign a guestbook, but I wanted to share my condolences and felt compelled also to share a quick memory of Herb, as he was no doubt one of the absolute kindest and gentlest men I have ever met, and I know my father and mother, among countless others, would more than agree.
As a small child, I can vividly remember looking forward to every visit to Herb's office with my father. I remember waiting quietly and patiently, being as good a boy as I could could possibly muster as they talked... See, I knew that if I was good, he would at some point offer me some of his jelly beans out of the jar that he kept there! I did not learn of his passing until just this moment, but literally every time over the years since that I have had jelly beans, including just yesterday, oddly enough, out of my childrens' Easter goodies, I think back to Herb, his office, and that jar...
I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Your family will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.
Randy Ruddick, LA
Had to be a great Dad...to have such a wonderful daughter in you Bev. Candace & I love you & David. God Bless & May Herb RIP
Kyle RiegerNew Braunfels, TX
I am thankful to have met you and to be a part of the Spencer Family. Rest In Piece Mr. Spencer...
DALE R. LANEYFALCON, CO
We love Ann & Herb for many of years. With great sadness Herb passed away but he is no longer suffering. He is with our Lord our guardian angel. Praying for each of you guys. Love you all 💜💞 so much.
Amy FollowillMay, TX
Herb was my friend. He will be greatly missed. I pray For Gods Blessings for the Family.
Curtis and Kaye TeelArtesia, NM
Prayers & blessings to the family as you celebrate Robert life
Joseph TilleryLockney, TX