Wanda LaJune Patton Spencer went to meet her Valentine, Bill Spencer, in Heaven on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, at the age of 86.
She was born Nov. 21, 1934, to John Earnest Patton and Mildred McGhee Patton.
Wanda was born on the birthday of her older brother, Ed, who was so excited by the birth of his little sister that he gave the doctor a pumpkin from the family farm. Ed Patton would forever call his sister “Pumpkin” as an endearing nickname.
She graduated from Bledsoe County High School in 1952, where she was a majorette and an attendant in the Dayton Strawberry Festival Court. She continued her studies at the University of Chattanooga, Jackson State Community College and Calhoun Community College. Wanda obtained her degree in X-ray technology and later obtained her real estate license.
She began employment with Newell Hospital in Chattanooga, where she met the love of her life, Bill Spencer, who would lead her to the Lord. Bill and Wanda Spencer were married on July 9, 1956. Bill and Wanda cherished each other for over 62 years while traveling the world sharing God’s love. Wanda’s first son, William T. Spencer, III was born in Ayer, Mass., then daughter Lydia Anne Spencer Roberson in Chattanooga, and finally son David Harold Spencer on Kagnew Station in Asmara, Eritrea, Ethiopia.
Bill and Wanda returned to Massachusetts where they founded Calvary Baptist Church in Ayer, Massachusetts while Bill was serving in the U.S. Army.
In 1966 Bill became the full-time pastor of Eldad Baptist Church in Gibson County. Bill served at First Baptist Church Trenton, Nashway Baptist Church, Gibson Baptist Church and First Baptist Church in Charleston. The Lord then called Bill and Wanda to Underwood Baptist Church in Florence, Alabama. Bill and Wanda were called by the Lord to Linden, Alabama, where Bill served as director of missions for the Bethel Baptist Association. God then called both Bill and Wanda to become Home Missionaries for the Southern Baptist Convention.
Bill and Wanda served in Iowa for 15 years. After retiring from the North American Mission Board and celebrating their 50th Anniversary, their family sent Bill and Wanda on a trip to Alaska to complete their quest of seeing all 50 states. Wanda was the model pastor’s wife serving alongside Bill. Wanda served wherever there was a need in the church or in the lives of people in need. Wanda was always active in missions, mentoring young women in GA’s, and in the WMU of each church.
One of Wanda’s favorite pastimes was swimming, which was passed down from her mother. Her children and grandchildren all have special memories of adventures with Wanda. Wanda was both mother and friend to her three adult children. Wanda had a passion and was skilled in sewing and cooking. Wanda loved to travel with Bill, their children, and later their grandchildren.
Wanda loved her three children and their spouses: William Thomas Spencer III and wife, Cheryl, Lydia Anne Spencer Roberson and husband, Mitchell, and David Harold Spencer and wife, Melanie; and blessed with seven grandchildren: William Thomas Spencer IV, Abigail Christiana Spencer, John Jay Roberson, Kenneth Mitchell Roberson III, Christy Marie Spencer Graham (Jacob Graham), Bethany Elise Spencer and Grace Anne Spencer. Christy and Jacob Graham also blessed Wanda with three great-grandchildren: Neelie Kay Graham, Lillian Marie Graham, and Caroline Faith Graham.
Wanda was preceded in death by her parents, John Ernest Patton and Mildred McGhee Patton; brothers: John Ernest (Junior) Patton, Jr., Edward Patton as well as her sister, Sue Quarles. Left to cherish her memories are brothers: James “Jim” Patton, Sam Patton and Don Patton.
A graveside service is planned for Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. in the Chattanooga National Cemetery with her son, David ,officiating the service.
You are encouraged to share a memory of Wanda and/or your personal condolences with her family by visiting her memorial webpage and guestbook at www.companionfuenrals.com.
Companion Funeral Home is honored to assist her family with these arrangements.
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