Spencer Emery Estus was born Oct. 23, 1923 in Tarkio, Mo. and went to be with the Lord on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, in Flagstaff, with his family surrounding him.
Spencer is survived by his wife of 66 1/2 years, Mary Cleona (Toney) Estus; two children G.S. Arik Estus and Karla R. Baker; five grandchildren, Ty Narada, Greg Peters, Heidi Balaraman and Michael and Arik Estus; 11 great-grandchildren, Ethan and Dylan Narada, Brady Peters, Sangeeta, Jesse, Nina, and James Balaraman, and Kendrick, Brianna, Camuron and Samantha Estus; and four sisters, JoyLee Palmer, Esther Mae Barker, Hattie June Garner and Pamela Rose Rodgers. He was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Marie Estus and a grandson, Aaron Estus.
Spencer moved to Olathe, Colo., where he met his future bride while in grade school. He and Cleona would meet at the little local theater in town and each paid their nickel for entrance. They courted by horseback. During World War II, Spencer enlisted in the Navy the day after the Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1942. Because of his young age, his mother had to sign for him to enlist.
Spencer returned to Colorado on leave and married his childhood sweetheart on March 21, 1944. A year later, their daughter was born and 3 1/2 years later came their son. During his lifetime, he had many jobs. He was a working cowboy on a ranch in Colorado; had his own long-haul trucking business; half owner of an electric shop; and in between all this, he served his country in two more wars, the Korean War and Vietnam. Spencer retired from the Navy October, 1969, after proudly serving his country for 23 years. He and Cleona moved to Ash Fork, and have made their home there since September, 1970. Shortly after arriving, he opened Kaibab Repair and operated that business for the next 40 years. Spencer was a hard worker and if he said he'd do something, he'd do it. He was always true to his word.
Spencer was one of the first EMT's ever licensed in Arizona and continued his annual refresher classes staying an active EMT until 17 years ago. During that time he was called out on many major accidents and was always ready to help anyone who needed his assistance. He even delivered three babies during his EMT service. They use to kid him as the oldest EMT ever and ask if he'd "come over on the ark" - which he got a big kick out of.
Throughout his many hospital trips, he never lost his sense of humor. The doctors and nurses all loved him. Spencer loved his family and enjoyed it when they'd come to visit. Flying was one of his great loves and in the old days, he attended a lot of fly-ins and taking someone up in the plane was a thrill. Spencer will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Spencer fought hard to stay with his family and friends. He never gave up hope. Rest in peace, Spencer, we love you.
The family wishes to thank everyone for your love, prayers and support through this time.
Memorial services will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 in the Ash Fork School cafeteria with a graveside service immediately following at the cemetery, weather permitting.