Devoted Wife, Mother, Grandmother, and Educator
Betty Ann Spencer passed away peacefully at home on January 6th surrounded by her loving family. She was 82 years old. Born in Arvin on April 19, 1939, she was the oldest of four children. Betty eventually moved to Bakersfield with her parents where she grew up playing the organ and piano in church. She attended Bakersfield High School. It was there in Elm Grove that she met her future husband, George Spencer. She married in 1957 and started a family. After the birth of her youngest child, she enrolled at Cal State Bakersfield and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and teaching credential. Betty returned to CSUB in 1983 and earned a Master of Arts in education.
Betty worked her entire 38-year career for the Greenfield Union School District, first as a Kindergarten teacher at Plantation and McKee Elementary Schools, then as a Reading Specialist and Program Coordinator, and finally as an Assistant Principal at Kendrick Elementary School retiring in 2006.
Betty loved her job and found teaching very rewarding. But when she wasn’t in the classroom, she was most comfortable at home, especially in her kitchen cooking family recipes or baking her famous breads and pies. She always enjoyed setting out her fine china, crystal, and silver hosting dinners for family and friends. One of her all-time favorite hobbies was antique hunting. Over the years she collected and decorated her home with a treasure trove of Victorian antiques.
Grandma Betty, as she was affectionately referred to, enjoyed sewing, knitting, needlepoint, and quilting. Betty had exquisite taste and was an accomplished seamstress. She sewed many of her own clothes and knitted sweaters for family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and Ruby Edwards Groves, her in-laws George and Marie Garone Spencer, infant daughter Melisa Ann, son Mark, and sister-in-law Jean Spencer Muxlow.
Those left to cherish her memory are her husband, George of nearly 65 years, son Rocky and daughter-in-law Anna, brothers John Groves (Becky), Jim Groves (Pat), sister Linda Groves Ford, grand-daughters Nicole Young (Jared), Kristen O’Neill (Mathew), great-grandchildren Jack, Katie and Joseph O’Neill, Brett & Luke Young, and her nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, January 28th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Francis Church, 900 H Street in Bakersfield. Entombment will immediately follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park, 9101 Kern Canyon Road. The family requests that in lieu of flowers you consider a memorial donation to The Mission at Kern County, 816 E 21st Street, Bakersfield, 93305, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN, 38105, or a charity of your choice.