September 11, 2010
John J. "Jack" Spencer, 85 years, died Saturday at Brigham and Woman's Hospital in Boston. He was the beloved husband of Catherine DeFronzo Spencer.
Born in Malden and raised in Saugus, he was the son of the late Thomas J. and Gertrude (Keenan) Spencer. Jack graduated from St. Michael's University with his Bachelor's Degree and did graduate work at Boston College, Boston University and Detroit University before receiving a Doctorate Degree from Andover-Newton Theological School. He was the first Saugonian to be ordained a Catholic Priest and a member of the Passionist Fathers for 25 years. During World War II in North Africa he served as a pastoral counselor for the U.S. Troops.
He married Kay in 1977 and was a devoted and cherished husband, father and grandfather for the next 33 years. Always moved by a deep love for humanity, he taught psychology, history and human values at Saugus High School, Bishop Fenwick, St. Mary's in Lynn, and New Hampshire College, and remained active as a member and Eucharist Minister at St. Agnes Church in Middleton. He was an avid reader, loved tennis and golf, cruises with his wife and friends, growing tomatoes and picking blueberries.
Besides his wife, Jack is survived by two daughters, Maria Freedberg & her husband Paul of Boxford, Debra Vitkosky & her husband Bill of Rowley; four grandchildren, Alexis, Amy, Michael & Sam; three great grandchildren, James, Elizabeth & Gabriel; one brother, Paul Spencer of Saugus and two sisters, Audrey Bertrand of Saugus and Joyce O’Leary of Tennessee. Also survived by many nieces, nephews & his devoted & cherished friend, Fr. Bill O’Rourke of NY. He was predeceased by one son, William F. Spencer; two brothers, Thomas Spencer Jr. and Gerald Spencer; one sister, June York.