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1925 Loren 2023

Loren John Spencer

December 30, 1925 — October 5, 2023

 

  • Summary of the life of Loren J. Spencer

 

    • Loren was born December 30, 1925 in Kanab, Utah to Homer and Clara Spencer.  He preceded his twin sister, Leonora, in birth.
    • He was the fifth of eight children.
    • His father passed away when he was eight years old.
    • He grew up working with an uncle running the family’s farm.  He enjoyed riding horses and herding the cattle.
    • During the late 1930’s he was an extra in a few of the movies that were made near Kanab.
    • He graduated from Kanab High School on Friday evening May 17, 1944. 
    • Military service:
      • He boarded a bus the morning after high school graduation and reported for military service at Fort Douglas.  He was volunteered for the Marine Corp. 
      • Boot camp was in San Diego followed by advanced training at Camp Pendleton.
      • He was attached to the 4th Marine Division and sailed to Hawaii for additional training.
      • On New Year’s Day, 1945 the Division left Pearl Harbor for the Island of Iwo Jima.  The invasion began on February 19, 1945.  The unit he joined—K Company, 23rd Regiment—suffered 130% casualties during the campaign. 
      • He returned to Maui by way of the Marshall Islands on the USS Kingsbury.          .  He, and all Privates, was promoted to Private First Class.  The unit was brought back to full strength. 
      • When the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan in August, 1945 the Division was packed and ready to go to the Philippines to prepare for the invasion of the Japanese mainland.  Those who were eligible for discharge sailed with the 4th Division back to the main land and the division was disbanded.
      • He was assigned to an M P company and went to Guam on the aircraft carrier  USS Bon Homme Richard. One of his assignments was guarding about 500 Japanese prisoners who had survived Iwo Jima.  They could not go back to Japan because their families would not accept them.  They were supposed to have died for their country.
      • He sailed home in June of 1946 arriving in San Francisco.  He was promoted to the rank of Corporal and was told he could keep the rank if he would re-enlist.  He declined and was discharged on June 18, 1946.      
    • The Summer of 1946 was spent working at a local saw mill.
    • He enrolled in the School of Engineering at the Branch Agricultural College in Cedar City in the Fall of 1946. 
    • He worked for the saw mill again in the Summer of 1947 cutting timber on the Kaibab National Forest. 
    • After work and on Saturdays he helped his brothers salvage material from the big old barn on the property to build a small barn. The present owners of the property have remodeled the barn and use the building in their business with the Navajo Nation.
    • He returned to the Branch Agricultural College in the Fall.
    • When school concluded in the Spring of 1948 he went to Fillmore, Utah to get a job with the Soil Conservation Service.
    • While he was in Fillmore, he met LaRene Petersen when he went to her window at the bank.   
    • They were married in the Manti Utah Temple on September 17, 1948.
    • They moved to Logan, Utah where he completed his degree in civil engineering at Utah State University.
    • Their first son, Ross Loren, was born while they lived in Logan.
    • In 1950 they moved to Beaver, Utah where he began his career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service.  He worked with farmers and ranchers.
    • Their daughter, JaNene, was born while they lived there.
    • He was transferred to Cedar City, Utah in 1954.  He was an area engineer in the area office in Cedar City.  He designed irrigation diversion structures at Orderville and Mount Carmel that are still in use today.  He also worked on the Green Lake flood control project in southeast Cedar City just before his transfer to American Fork. They bought their first house there.
    • Their son, Neil Orrin, was born while they lived there
    • In 1959 he was transferred to American Fork, Utah.  While living in American Fork, he worked out of four different offices.
      • Working out of the Lehi, Utah office he was the project engineer for the American Fork Dry Creek Watershed Project.  The project was for flood control and also supported four irrigation companies.  He engineered the flood control structures on Battle Creek and Grove Creek near Pleasant Grove, Dry Creek near Lehi on the highway between Alpine and I-15, and Tibble Fork in American Fork Canyon. All four of these structures have been enlarged and are still in use. He also started the Silver Lake Flat Reservoir project, which remains a valuable water storage reservoir and recreation area.
      • In 1966 he was transferred to the area engineer at the Provo, Utah area office. 
      • In 1968 he was promoted to a planning engineer out of the state office in Salt Lake City.  In 1971 he was assigned as the assistant conservation engineer in the state office.   
    • Loren was transferred to Reno, Nevada in 1975 as the state conservation engineer.
    • He retired from the Soil Conservation Service in December of 1994 after a 45-year career, 25 years with the agency in Utah and 20 years in Nevada. 
    • In retirement he was a consultant for a local engineering company.
    • He moved to Kaysville, Utah to live with his son, Neil, in 2018 after LaRene passed away.
    • Service in the church:
      • He served as Elders Quorum President and as a counselor in two bishoprics. 
      • He worked with the youth, which included the Boy Scouts. 
      • While living in American Fork, he was in charge of ward assignments for the welfare farm that supported the cannery in Salt Lake City.
      • Served as Bishop of the Mount Rose First Ward in Reno, Nevada from 1980 – 1985.
      • Served on the Reno Stake High Council for 10 years.
      • Served as Director of the Reno Nevada Family History Center for 22 years.
      • Served as Patriarch of the Reno Nevada Stake and the Mount Rose Stake for 9 years.
      • Served as an ordinance worker in the Oakland California Temple and in the Reno Nevada Temple. 

 

    • He passed away on October 5, 2023 at home in Kaysville at the age of 97.  His final days were filled with visits from his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Some visits were in person and others were over video.  He was loved all the way to heaven where he joined his beloved wife, LaRene.

 

    • He is survived by his three children:  Ross (Margo) Spencer, JaNene (Forrest) Carter and Neil (preceded in death by Donece) Spencer.  His posterity includes 13 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.

 

    • Funeral Services will be held Monday October 16, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Kaysville Crestwood Stake Center, 855 E. Mutton Hollow Road, Kaysville, Utah. Friends may visit with family from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.

 

    • Graveside services will be held  Friday October 20, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. at the Fillmore City Cemetery, 350 E. 600 S.. Fillmore, UT 84631.
    • Services will be live-streamed and may be viewed by scrolling to the bottom of Loren's obituary page at www.lindquistmortuary.com.

 

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