Cover photo for Herbert Spencer's Obituary
Herbert Spencer Profile Photo
1930 Herbert 2018

Herbert Spencer

June 14, 1930 — March 30, 2018

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


Memorial Service

First Presbyterian Church
402 W. Grand Ave.
Artesia, NM  88210
Thursday, April 5, 2018
10:00 a.m.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Herbert Spencer, please visit our flower store.


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