Joanne Ellen Spencer
February 16, 1931 – July 12, 2018
Joanne Ellen Spencer (Ziglar) was born February 16, 1931 in Fairfield, Washington. She grew up in Spokane, WA where she attended North Central High School. After graduation she married high school classmate, Jack Seidel, and had 4 children - Scott, Terry, Penny and Jill. They moved to Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood in 1960 where Jack attended the University of Washington.
Joanne later met and married the love of her life, Dr. Merrill P. Spencer. At Merrill’s passing in 2006 they had been married for 34 years. Joanne and Merrill traveled the world together, with Joanne providing encouragement and support for Merrill’s internationally recognized and pioneering research and clinical career in cardiovascular physiology. She was his special diplomat.
Joanne was a crusader for justice. Her experience serving as a juror led her to authoring “The Seventh Victim”, which is recommended reading in law schools to illustrate how biases affect the application of the legal system and how misinformation is used to secure a conviction. The book can also be found in the Library of Congress. When asked how Joanne became so brave, while so small of stature, she replied “I am the product of Scottish Highland Clans and French Huguenots, So don’t Mess with Me!”
Joanne was a caring and compassionate person who demonstrated her endless loving energy creating joyous celebrations for holidays and birthdays, and planning special adventures for family and friends over many years. Family was everything to her.
Merrill and Joanne enjoyed the Seattle Yacht Club and boating from their Laurelhurst home into Puget Sound and the San Juans. They maintained a second home in West Maui where many lasting memories were made.
Joanne was an avid Mariners fan, right up until her passing, and attended spring training camp with Merrill several times. She had a wonderful life and passed away peacefully at Skyline Terrace, where Joanne received wonderful care.
Joanne is preceded in death by husband Merrill P. Spencer, son Terry Galen, and step-daughter Mimi Spencer. She is survived by: sister Marilyn G. Irish (Gary, M. deceased), son Scott Seidel (Kajsa), daughters Penny Spencer Carey (Bryan) and Jill Seidel (BJ, Winston and Norman); grandchildren: Lindsay Klick (Jason), Derek Spencer, and Hillary Grant (Jeff); great grandchildren: Delilah and Clementine Klick, Colin Spencer (mother: Erika Marin) and Kajsa Ann Grant; nephew Gavin Tai Irish and niece Monique Shalimar Ames (Stuart).
A Family and Friends funeral service will be held on Tuesday, August 21, beginning at 11:00 AM in the Acacia Memorial Chapel, then adjourning to a graveside ceremony. Address: 14951 Bothell Way NE, Shoreline, WA 98155. (206) 362-5525.
Donations in Joanne’s name can be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, https://www.splcenter.org/support-us.
- Funeral Service Tuesday, August 21, 2018
- Committal Service Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Joanne Ellen Spencer
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