Thomas J Spencer

  • Born: July 27, 1943
  • Died: June 30, 2015
  • Location: Lowell, Indiana

Sheets Funeral Home

604 E Commercial Avenue
Lowell, IN 46356
Tel. (219) 696-0921

Tribute & Message From The Family

Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Thomas by adding your memories and photos.

Tom Spencer
71, of Lowell, passed away at home with loved ones, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Survived by daughter, Lenore (John) Spitznagel of St. Louis, MO, grandsons, Nick and Ben, sister, Sandra Graves of Portage and loving companion, Doris Curless. He was preceded in death by his wife, Kathleen and brothers, Ken and Paul. Tom attended Lowell First United Methodist Church, was a 1961 graduate of E. Gary Edison High School and Purdue in 1995. He was a Combat Engineer with the US Army, serving during Vietnam and past Commander of Lowell Am. Legion. A member of Tri Creek Historical Assoc., Friends of the Library, Gleaners, IN Writers Consortium, Write on Hoosiers, NWI Poetry Society, IN and National Federation of Poetry Clubs. Visitation will be Sunday, July 5th from 2-6 with Funeral Services Monday, 11AM all at Sheets Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 604 E. Commercial Ave., Lowell, with Cremation following services. In Lieu of flowers, contributions may be given to the Tom Spencer Memorial Poetry Fund through DeMotte State Bank in Lowell.


Condolence & Memory Journal


Hard to believe a year has passed without our dear friend and wanted to light a candle. Fond memories will never fade.

Posted by Cynthia & Dick Goodman - Friend   July 02, 2016


Just wanted to light a candle in your honor. Miss you Tom.
a good friend Kristine (Hill) Moon

Posted by Kris Moon - Clearwater, FL - Friend   June 29, 2016

Thomas was a part of my life when I was a little girl, back in the early 70's. I loved this little orange car he owned, he was a very kind gentleman to me & my 2 brothers, we would also go on picnics with Kathy & Lenore and at the time their dog (a dark brown poodle). He will be missed deeply. Kris Moon (Hill)

Posted by Kris Moon - Clearwater, FL - Friend   February 05, 2016

I first met Tom and Cathy Spencer at a library club meeting in Merrillville,
Indiana. The club was called Great Decisions and we met to discuss world problems and their consequences. Tom was a great speaker, articulate, thoughtful and interested in everyone's opinions. Our club changed venues over the years, starting maybe in 2000 (?), and continuing presently at the Griffith Public Library. Tom made it a point to befriend all club members and
often visited with us after meetings ended. He and Cathy will be missed and well-remembered by all of us. I like to think that he and Cathy are together again in heaven.

Posted by Barbara Kubiak - Gary, IN - library club friend   August 08, 2015

Dear Lenore and family,

I was so sorry to hear about the death of your dad and loved one. I fondly remember him and the wonderful NFSPS Summer Convention held in Indiana about three years ago.

I lost my father over a year ago, so I sympathize with you in your grief, but I pray that God will comfort you during this sad time and in the months to come.

Catherine L'Herisson, President
Poetry Society of Texas

Posted by Catherine L'Herisson - Garland, TX - poet   July 07, 2015

I enjoyed Tom's company at our Write-On Hoosier meetings and at times in Lowell at the library poetry gatherings. (Oh especially the fun, amazing get-togethers at Kathy and Tom's with all the other creative souls.) They were always so welcoming. What a remarkable life, a kind like a person Helen Keller and so many others with challenges live(d), cherishing every moment while seeing, hearing, and observing the beauty around us without as much as healthy abilities as many us are lucky to have.. I considered Tom someone who always took poets under his wings, (encouraged and believed in them.) He was one of my beloved favorite Hoosier poets. Though he has retired to Heaven, Tom Spenceris/was one of the most unique, naturally-talented, profoundly thoughtful poets I've ever had the pleasure to know. (Say hi to Emily D. up there for us, okay Tom?) R.I.P. and to your family and friends: Hugs and prayers, Gail Galvan.

Posted by Gail Galvan - Valparaiso, IN - friend/fellow poet   July 06, 2015

I went to high school with Tom. He was a nice guy way back then and when we reconnected at our 50th class reunion I found that the years had not changed him. I loved his poetry, our ability to stay in touch and get reacquainted but one of the best memories was when he came to Omaha with Cynthia and Dick. Thanks to Tom we were able to go to the Symphony which we all enjoyed. He was a very kind man, who was loved by many and will truly be missed.

Posted by Nikki Darlene Neagu - Papillion, NE - friend   July 03, 2015

I first met Tom when he signed up for a course I was facilitating at WVU in Fiction Writing and later look his lively class on the book 100 years of solitude. He was good discussion leader and I got a lot out of the book. He was a craftsman and an artisan and it reflected in his writing. I was thrilled to met him and Cathy when they came for a WVU get together in Vancouver and found him as charming as he seemed to be on line. We've remained friends ever since. He will be very much missed.

Posted by Harry Hobbs - Flin Flon - FRIEND CNAADA   July 03, 2015


I got to know Tom at a poetry event in Lowell, Indiana. He always made me feel welcome. He was strong, kind ....a very special gentleman. He will be missed.

Posted by Linda Bannon (Susan Smith) - Anderson, IN   July 02, 2015


Tom's friendship was a true gift. This gentle man, his kind heart, his love of poetry and the ever gracious welcome to his home, gave us so many fun times together. We will forever miss him and hold him close in our hearts. Our many warm memories will help us with the loss we feel now. We hold him forever close in our hearts.

Posted by Cynthia & Dick Goodman - Jonesborough, TN - good friend   July 02, 2015

So sorry to hear about Tom's passing. He was a good man and will be missed by all.

Posted by Stan Kelson, Sharon Gallagher - New Tripoli, PA - Nephew/Niece   July 02, 2015

I was part of the poetry group in Lowell and got to know Tom and Kathy through our meetings. Tom will be greatly missed. He was so kind and sharing. I so appreciate all his efforts to maintain the poetry group and give us guidance. I learned so much from him. He was a great encourager to hone our poetry and keep writing. I will miss his mentoring. My sincere condolences to the family.

Posted by Patti Leininger - Crown Point, IN - Friend   July 02, 2015

I met Tom at the poetry group in the Lowell, Indiana library.
I was so blessed by Tom's poems and his inspiration and
encouragement to all of us in the group in our writing attempts.
He has blessed and encouraged so many by his humble
engagement into other's lives. He was truly interested in bringing
out the best in others and encouraging their talents. He will be greatly
missed but remembered for the many good things he did.

Posted by Shirley Eileen Hinman - Demotte, IN - friend from poetry club   July 02, 2015

Many years ago at an ISFPC convention I had the true pleasure of meeting Tom and Kathy, hearing his poems recited, and then to be honored by Tom giving me a copy of his poetry book. They were such a devoted, loving couple and Tom so talented. I treasure his book. My deepest sympathy to his family.


Posted by Alexandra Moss Zannis - fort wayne, IN - a compassionate friend   July 02, 2015

Sad to hear of Tom's passing. He treated me so well when he brought me to Indiana a couple years ago to speak at the NFSPS Annual Convention. It was apparent, even in my few hours there, that he was widely cherished, and that he was devoted to not only his word-work but to the work of everyone. All good thoughts to his loved ones and fellow poets.

Posted by Mark Turcotte - Chicago, IL - fellow poet   July 01, 2015

Tom inspired me as he did so many others. Even in the last weeks of his life, he still had the "Tom humor" when he told me I would have to stand in the corner if I didn't finish a sonnet homework assignment for his class.

Speaking of class, that was Tom - pure, first class.

Posted by Judith Lachance-Whitcomb - Schererville, IN - Friend   July 01, 2015

Ah, Tom, you are now gone to be with your beloved wife in the Great Beyond. We will miss you, but your poetry will live on in our hearts and minds.

Posted by Gwen Turbyfield aka Pengwen - Graham, WA - poet friend   July 01, 2015

So sorry to hear of Tom's passing. He was a wonderful writer who was always willing to share his creativity and expertise with those of us learning the craft. He will be missed at Writer's Village University.

Posted by Christine Bloom - La Verne, CA - Poet friend   July 01, 2015

My heart is saddened to learn I have read Tom's final poems and shall read his voice no more. I knew Tom through his participation with Writers Village University. His poetry and critique of my poetry helped me improve both as a poet and writer of fiction. He is already missed but his poetry lives on.

Thank you, Tom, for all that you so willingly shared.

- judy

Posted by judy beaston - Beaverton, OR - poet friend   July 01, 2015

Thanks, Tom, for your service to Indiana State Poets as President of ISFPC. Your invitation to me, S. Evan Walters, to be a featured reader of performance poetry at the 2012 NFSPC conference in Indiana, changed the direction of my life. I had so much fun there and made so many new friends. You are the reason I entered the contests and can now call myself a national award winning poet. Your gentle spirit and personal warmth will be missed. And thanks to Lenore, for helping your dad. I know it meant so much to him to attend the various poetry events. I honestly don't remember a time that I saw Tom, that I didn't also see you with him. My condolences to you and your family.

Posted by S. Evan Walters - Lebanon, IN - Fellow Poet   July 01, 2015

I am saddened to hear of Tom's passing. Tom was a kind and gentle soul, and writer of beautiful poetry. Not a poet myself, Tom's input during readings at Write-On Hoosiers taught me so much. He always reminded us to focus on how a poem is read as much as how it was written, which I will never forget. He will be sorely missed.

Posted by Pamela Gonzalez - Hobart, IN - fellow writer   July 01, 2015

My sincere condolences. Tom was a real gentleman and a good friend of poetry in Indiana.

Posted by Warren - Owensville, IN - friend   July 01, 2015

Tom was a great human being. He will be missed.

Posted by Jane & John Shipley    July 01, 2015

By Mary Couch

His voice, now silent by dark of night,
No spoken poems fall from his lips,
Where once his voice, wild and free,
Now hushed, it seeks to rest.
Yet echoes on wind,
His song of life,
Lived his way,
My Poet

Our sincere condolences on your loss

Posted by Mary & Alice Couch - Noblesville, IN - Poet Friend   July 01, 2015

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Tom, Cynthia and Dick in Omaha