On Saturday, October 10, 2020, Howard E. “Pete” Spencer 3rd, departed this life peacefully in the comfort of his home at the age of 87. Howard lived out his final years with his wife Nancy by his side in Barnegat, New Jersey. Even throughout his fight with dementia, Howard’s vivacious personality continued to shine through, and his family as well as those who were in his company, felt his infectious energy until the very end.
Howard was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on December 4th. He was a proud military member with an extensive career in the United States National Guard. He attended the US Army Command and Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, trained at multiple bases across the United States and abroad, finally retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Besides his military career, early on Howard worked for Schmultz Dairy Farm, eventually being promoted to manager. Afterwards, he became your friendly neighborhood milkman, along with his older children when he opened his own milk company, Spencer’s Dairy. Howard was a hard-working husband and father, providing for his family anyway he could, which lead him to his longest and most transformative career, real estate. Starting in the mid-70s, he began what would be a 30 plus year real estate career. His first job was with Dobb’s Real Estate, located in Pluckemin, New Jersey. After managing the Hillsborough, New Jersey office for Eisenhower Real Estate, he landed at Weichert Realtors where he would spend the rest of his career and managed the Branchburg and Flemington New Jersey locations. Howard’s biggest accomplishment, amongst receiving multiple awards for tops sales, was instituting the Weichert Real Estate School, which is still in operation today. Having the experience as a New Jersey state instructor, he not only was teaching the courses for Weichert, but he was also the one who created the curriculum for the school. Continuing to bring Weichert ahead of the competition, he created a training program for agents to open their own branch.
Although Howard had many titles, the one he cherished most was being “Poppy”. All those who were close to him knew him as Poppy and what he genuinely enjoyed, was spending time with his many grandchildren. No matter if you were family, friend, agent or student, Howard expressed himself through a story. They were silly, direct, or heartfelt experiences that made you laugh or learn from. He took the “long” way to any destination, loved traveling with his wife, playing golf, riding his tractor, and watching his beloved Yankees or Eagles.
Howard was preceded in death by his father, Howard E. Spencer Jr., his biological mother Elizabeth Cox and his mother who raised him, Marie Spencer, and a stepson Jack Marsh. Howard is survived by his loving and supportive wife of 33 years, Nancy Spencer, his four children, Howard Spencer 4th (Lisa), Donna Schaal (Kenny), John Spencer (Kathy), Nancy Ann Spencer; three step children, Christine Esposito (Tom), Fred Eurick (Jackie) and Debbie Todd (Don), numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, and his sister Nancy Zell (Fred).
Howards family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to all the beautiful souls who took care of him up to his last day. The wonderful organizations such as Olga’s Girls, On Call Care, Interfaith Services and Hospice help make the difficult task of caregiving and transition into the eternal life one that gives a family the ease of knowing their loved one will be taken care of with the upmost respect and dignity.
A funeral mass to honor Howard’s memory and spirit will be held on Friday, October 30th, at 11:00 am, at St. Mary’s Parish located at 747 West Bay Ave, Barnegat, New Jersey. All are welcome to attend and pay their respects.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to; Interfaith Health & Support Services of Southern Ocean County, Inc. 1140 RT. 72 W, Manahawkin, NJ 08050 or St. Mary’s Parish 747 West Bay Ave, Barnegat, NJ 08805.
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