John was born in Emporia, Kan. in 1947 to Dr. Harold and Margaret Spencer.
He graduated from the College of Emporia in 1970 (of which he is a member of the alumni board), and went on to attend KU Medical School.
He completed his residency in Family Practice in Midland, MI before moving to Fort Scott to begin his practice at Newman Young Clinic in 1977.
He later became a partner of Fort Scott Family Physicians. John practiced in Fort Scott 28 years, and has been practicing recently in the Independence and Fort Scott emergency rooms and in the Arma and Pleasanton offices.
John was an active member of the community, and served as an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Scott.
He enjoyed many outdoor activities such as biking, running, sailing, camping, hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding.
He lived out his love for history as a member of the marching and mounted Fort Scott Dragoons, participated in Civil War reenactments in the 6th Kansas Cavalry, and was the President and founding chairman of the Mine Creek Battlefield Foundation.
He was an active member of the Civil War Preservation Trust in Washington D.C., served as a member of the Kansas City Civil War Roundtable, and participated in the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College during the past four years.
John was a man deeply loved by his family, including his wife Janice L. Spencer, originally of Great Bend, Kan.; son Justin Spencer and wife Amy of Caufield, Mo.; daughter Jerilyn D. Whitsitt and husband Landon of Liberty, Mo.; step-daughter Angela Walts of Odessa, Texas; sister Sharon Stewart and husband Max of Emporia, Kan.; and nephew Dr. Robert H. Stewart, wife Kim, and daughter Abby, also of Emporia, Kan. Much joy was brought to John's life by his six grandchildren; Elijah and Molly Spencer, and Ian, Simon, Julian, and Rowan Whitsitt.
A visitation with the family will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Scott, 308 S. Crawford from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009. A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will also be held at the First Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 at 1 p.m., officiated by Rev. Landon Whitsitt and Rev. Dr. John F. Nipper.
A memorial scholarship fund has been set up in John's name at the First Presbyterian Church.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall Street, P.O. Box 309, Fort Scott, Kan., 66701.