News and Tribune

April 23, 2013

Barbara Jean (Whitaker) Spencer, 81; of Indianapolis

A graveside service to celebrate the life of Barbara Jean (Whitaker) Spencer will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 27, at Oak Hill cemetery in Lake Placid, Fla. She died peacefully surrounded by family at St. Joseph’s hospital in Atlanta on April 18, 2013. 

An Owensboro, Ky., native, Barbara was born on Dec. 12, 1931, to Sarah (Midkiff) and Harold “Red” Whitaker. She graduated from New Albany Business College, and worked at Kosmos Portland Cement Company in Louisville for 10 years. Barbara joined Beta Sigma Phi Sorority in 1952 and was an active member of this social services and learning organization throughout her entire life. She held too many chapter offices and committee roles within Beta Sigma Phi to list them all, but she was especially proud to have served as president, vice president, recording secretary, treasurer, and state convention chairman. 

She made many good friends over the years with this organization, and one of her final directions was to ensure her chapter received the Mother’s Day favors she had acquired for their 2013 celebration. She also served as Floyd County Heart Sunday Chairman and volunteered for Heart Sunday for a number of years in Indianapolis. She enjoyed golfing, gardening, collecting and wearing fashion-forward hats, visiting with neighbors, and was a dedicated fan of sporting events of her children and extended family members. 

Married to John Sievers Spencer in 1961, they celebrated their golden anniversary in 2011. She is survived by husband, John; daughter, Sondra (Spencer) Davis; son David and daughter-in-law Sallie (Wellso) Spencer; grandchildren Lindsay Davis, Jackson Spencer, and Ben Spencer; and niece Kelly (Harrington) and her husband Joey Knaebel. She is also survived by Aunt Lucille (Whitaker) McIntyre; sisters-in-law Betty Whittinghill, Anna Breeden, Margie Beeler and Alice Krosky; and a number of nieces and nephews.

 She was preceded in death by parents Sarah and Harold; sister and brother-in-law, Margaret Joan (Whitaker) and Donald “Hank” Harrington; and grand-nephew, Nicholas Knaebel. 

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Scott Funeral Home, 504 W. Interlake Blvd., Lake Placid, Fla., 33852. In lieu of flowers, donation can be made to a charity close to Barbara’s heart: American Foundation to Prevent Suicide in memory of Nick Knaebel ( ) and/or Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( ).