Juanita Shirley Spencer
Born: 8/13/1918, Fort Collins, Colorado
Juanita Shirley Huppe Spencer was born at home "up on the Red Stone" northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado, on her family's 40 acre ranch on August 13, 1918. She was the fourth child of five and grew up in happy, loving family. Her dad nicknamed her "Kelly" because she was supposed to be a boy. She learned to work hard and appreciate what she earned.
Due to an illness, Juanita didn't start school until third grade at the Cache LePudre School . She was lucky to get a great fourth teacher, Pearl Talbolt, who helped her get "caught up" with the other students. She learned to love school and learning and graduated Valedictorian of her graduating class. Juanita continued her education at Colorado A&M, now Colorado State University, on a scholarship. She earned her bachelor's degree in education and Home Economics.
Hired soon after her graduation, Juanita went to work for the Ridgway Consolidated School District as a high school journalism and Home Economics teacher. During her first year of teaching, she took her senior journalism class on a field trip to the Ouray County Herald, where she met Beverly Spencer, the tour's guide. He showed her class the workings of a small weekly newspaper from writing the stories to printing the paper. The two began corresponding and were soon dating. On June 20, 1942, the two were married in Montrose only 6 months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They made their home in Ouray on Second Street and named it their "honeymoon house." After two years, they bought a "fixer-upper" house on Fourth Street. Suppies for renovation were very difficult to obtain as everything was going toward the "war effort." Both Juanita and Beverly grew up as products of the Depression, so they knew how to work hard and "make-do." During that time, the couple bore two chilren, Judy and Randy, who were born at the Miner's Hospital in Ouray, now the Ouray County Museum. Juanita planted her Victory Garden and helped with putting the newspaper.
In 1952, the couple moved to Moab on a short-term lease of the Times Independent. After their term was up, the couple decided to stay in Moab because it was the time of the Uranium Boom. With financial backing from Charlie Steen, Beverly and Juanita established The Uranium Capitol Print Shop where they printed thousands of location notices. They moved their business from the old Shield's Building to the old Post Office, and finally to the Valley Shopping Center and changed the business name to Spencers' Printing and Stationery.
Together they ran the business for 18 years. During those years, they had a surprise child, Janis. Unfortunately, in 1970 Beverly passed away. Her son and his family, Randy and Pam and boys returned from the Air Force to help run the business. In the early 1970's, Juanita and Randy started a weekly flyer named "The Ad-vertiser." The printing portion of the business was moved out and renamed The Printing Place on First West. They sold the printt shop. The other part of the business was renamed, Spencers' Office Products and continued until 1996. During these years, Juanita worked very hard and spent her free time involved in the Moab Community Church as a deconess and as part of the Mary Marth Society. She also played an active part of the Business and Profession Women of Moab, where she helped to promote women in Moab through the local businesses. She loved being outside and working in her yard and garden.
Juanita retired at 78. When her back pain became so severe, she moved to Longmont to be near family and later to Grand Junction with Randy and Pam. She lived four years in the Monument Assisted Living Center in Grand Junction.
She is survived by her children Judy (Spencer) and John Dawson, Randy and Pam Spencer, and Janis (Spencer) and Mark McKinney and her grand children Jody (Dawson) Wysch, Randy Kent Spencer, Ron Spencer, James Dawson, Jacob McKinney, Kelsey (McKinney) Ardoin, and Tyler McKinney, eleven great grand children and one great, great grand child. Juanita was buried in the Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Moab.
Her family loved her dearly and will miss her terribly, but we know that she in now unfettered by her old body and is in the arms of her sweet Savoir where she longed to be.
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