Gilbert Dean Spencer, 88, of McGrann, died Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at his home, while surrounded by the love of his family.
Born October 13, 1932, in McGrann, he was a son of the late Irvin Lee and Vernie Etta (Crissman) Spencer.
A veteran of the United States Army, he served during the Korean War. He was based at Camp Pickett, VA, and played second base on the baseball team there. He was then based in Germany for one year.
He retired from Allegheny Ludlum in 1997, after more than 35 years of service.
Mr. Spencer was a member of the First Baptist Church of Ford City. Anyone who knew him knew that he was a sports enthusiast. He was a baseball and softball coach from 1975 to 1992, having won many well-deserved district and section titles. Players gravitated two his confidence and wit. He was president of the Ford City Little League for three years, and was affiliated with the Men's Class A National Champion Softball Team that went on to win the world championship. He also announced at games, where he was quite the entertainer, coining phrases and nicknames long before Mike Lang of the Pittsburgh Pens. His trademark quick-wittedness and integrity were with him all the way to the end.
Gil enjoyed traveling, but his being with his family was most special to him. He loved his family and was always concerned about the well-being of others. He was vibrant in his words, and sincere in his love. Children tugged at his heartstrings, and holidays were always extra special because of him.
He is survived by his longtime companion, Gayle (Foster) Lang; his children, Bruce Dean Spencer and his husband, Jeff Lockard, of Clarion, Susan (Keith) Blaniar of Ford City, Sheri (Kevin) Fitzgerald of Ford City, Brian "Beaver" (Teresa) Spencer of Ford City, Angela (Ted) Cravener of Phoenix, AZ, Jim Lang of Tyrone, PA, and Bradley (Joy) Lang of Dover, PA; 12 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Abella; and three brothers, Gerald, Donald, and Cecil Spencer.
A dear friend has said, "As an umpire, there are some people that make you smile when they are part of the game!" Dad was one of them. You did not have to see him to know he was there. No one knew more about the game than Gil did. May he rest in eternal peace in God's field of dreams.
Friends will be welcomed from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., Sunday, in the Welch Funeral Home, 1032 Fourth Ave., Ford City, where funeral services will take place at 11 a.m., Monday, with Pastor Tim Kutch officiating. Interment will follow in Lawn Haven Burial Estates, with military honors accorded by the Armstrong County Honor Guard. To send condolences and share memories, please visit www.welchfh.com. Due to current mandates, guests are respecfully asked to use proper social distancing and to wear a mask or face covering.
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