James (Jim) Aaron Spencer died peacefully on Sept. 18, 2007 at the age of 92 in Crescent City. He was born in Ashland, Ore., on Dec. 8, 1914 to parents Ella Smith of Nebraska and Harrison Dalton Spencer of Missouri.
Jim's family moved to Del Norte County around 1925. His parents opened a restaurant in Crescent City, then moved to Bertoleda, now known as Douglas Park, where they operated a home for tuberculosis patients. Later, the family moved to Gasquet where they managed the Ward's Family Golf Course.
Jim graduated from Del Norte High School in 1932 and went to work for the California Conservation Corps, working on public projects in and around Del Norte and Humboldt Counties. In 1942, Jim joined the U.S. Navy and became a Coxswain Mate. During this time he corresponded with Henrietta Eloise Gregory, whom he had met in Crescent City in 1941. After the war, they were married.
In the first years of their marriage, they fished off their boat, "The Fairway," out of the harbors of Crescent City and Fort Bragg. After the birth of son Jimmy, they moved to Smith River, and in 1949, Jim went to work for Pacific Poser and Light Company until his retirement.
After his retirement, Jim and his wife Eloise were able to spend a few years traveling until her death in 1975. Later, Jim married Harriet Gregory Hobbs and they had a wonderful 30 years together.
Jim could recite Robert Service poems, would sing ballads, and loved the ballad of "Ole Dan McGrew." He loved the ocean, traveling and his family.
Jim is survived by his wife, Harriet; children, Marilyn (Barney) Heyer, Carolyn (John) Westbrook, Travis (Sharon) Balmain, Leslie (David) Smith, Diane (Lonnie) Mead, Michael McMann and special daughter Sue Sanchez.
He is also survived by grandchildren Will, Matt, Rachelle, Brian, Matthew, Brandon, Nikki, Jennifer, Jess and great-grandchildren Samayra, and Issiah; brother Glenn (Bernice) Spencer; nephew Harry D. and numerous other nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his first wife, Eloise; son, Jimmy; his parents and brothers Mike and Harold; sisters, Hazel, Toots and Velma and nephew, Gregory.
No services will be held. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in his honor.