Marian Lorraine Spencer

Marian Lorraine Spencer

February 18, 1923 - January 23, 2021
Mission Viejo California

Marian Lorraine Spencer

February 18, 1923 - January 23, 2021
Mission Viejo California


Marian L. Spencer

Marian Spencer passed away peacefully on Saturday morning, January 23, 2021 at the board and care home that she shared with her husband Leland (Lee).  Marian was born on February 18, 1923 in Los Angeles, California, and was less than a month away from her 98th birthday.  Lee always said of Marian that she was “born happy and never recovered”.  Those who knew and loved her understand how true those words are!

Marian’s parents, Warren and Ivy Rogers, were also native Californians, born in Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo respectively.  Marian was the second of their four daughters. Ellen, Marian, Lois, and Frances all grew up in their family home in Los Angeles and attended Manual Arts High School.  It was there, in her junior year, that she met Lee in a music appreciation class. Two years later, August 15, 1942, they were married at Plymouth Congregational Church where she had attended for years.

Their tiny first home was in south Los Angeles and their son, Roger, was born on July 13, 1943.   This was during World War II and Lee was in training to be a pilot in the US Army Air Corps.  Lee left for Europe to be a B-24 bomber pilot and their second son, Bruce, was born on October 2, 1944, while Lee was flying bombing missions over occupied Europe.  He returned home on March 30, 1945, to be reunited with Marian and Roger, and meet Bruce for the first time.  Soon their little family moved into a small home not too far from her parents until 1950.

On February 21st, 1950, Marian was in the hospital giving birth to Russell, while Lee and the boys moved into the new family home in Monterey Park. This was to be the only home the family would know for the next 70 years, and Marian set about to be the best mom she could be.  She loved all children, but especially hers.  She loved going airplane camping with Lee or family camping with her boys, fishing, hiking, to the beach, and everywhere in between.  Hers was a life of service, first and foremost to her family, but she always found ways to serve others as well.

When her boys grew up, married, and moved away from home, Marian decided to go to college and earned her degree/teaching credential so that she could teach school.  She spent the next eleven years as a kindergarten teacher and loved her new kids.  They loved her as well, and told her what a great teacher she was whenever she saw them in later years.  Throughout her life she was happiest when she was around children.

In her mid-thirties, Marian was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by her next-door neighbors.  In spite of Lee’s disapproval, she became active in the church, but put off baptism to keep peace in the family.  She served in numerous church callings as a non-member, all of which almost always involved children and music.

It was almost twenty years later, after the kids were gone, that she finally worked up the nerve to ask Lee for his permission to be baptized.  To her shock, he said yes, and she entered into the covenant of baptism on January 5, 1974.  It was one of the happiest days of her life and brought her great peace.  She continued her church service in a number of capacities, but it wasn’t until 1996 that she finally asked Lee for permission to go to the temple.  Once again, he surprised her! Just two days before her 73rd birthday she went to the Los Angeles LDS Temple for the first time.  Marian loved going to the temple, and in the next ten years she participated in one thousand temple ordinances to make up for lost time!  The only thing that slowed her down was the dementia that started affecting her in her mid-eighties.

By the time that Marian turned ninety she was no longer able to drive.  Lee cared for her as best he could, but over time it became overwhelming for him and a change was necessary.  Marian spent the last years of her life in care facilities, always with a smile on her face.  Lee finally joined her in September 2020, and they spent the last five months of her life together, holding hands.  He misses her dearly, as we all do.

Marian is now free of her worn-out body and reunited with her parents, sisters and Rusty, and is still smiling, but from on high.


Graveside Service

  • Date & Time: February 26, 2021 (11:00 AM)
  • Venue: El Toro Memorial Park
  • Location: 25751 Trabuco Road Lake Forest, CA 92630 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 951-9102

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14 responses to Marian Lorraine Spencer

  1. Dana Spencer says:

    Grandma Spencer loved to play with us. Whether at Big Bear, Rock Creek, Lake Powell, or in her back yard, she was never too busy for her grandchildren and would get us involved in whatever she was doing. I loved picking apricots with her and watching her feed the squirrels. I loved her hot cross buns at Easter time. And who could forget New Years Eve at the Rose Parade in Grandma & Grandpa’s motor home? Only a pretty brave grandma would have ever allowed that! Love you, Grandma!

  2. Jeff spencer says:

    Some of my favorite memories of Grandma Spencer are visiting the temple and doing baptisms when I turned 12. I remember thinking that she drove so slowly and that it was going to take forever to get there! Once there though, we had a great time and it was a memory I will hopefully never forget.
    We moved from Monterey Park to Walnut during my freshman year in high school. The new school did not have a few of the classes I was taking and so I had to finish the semester at my old high school. Dad would drop me off early in the morning at Grandma’s on his way to work. She always had a smile on her face when I arrived. I would go inside and she always asked what I wanted for breakfast. Most days it was French toast, and she would happily start to make it. It gave us plenty of time to talk about school and sports and whatever else came up. After breakfast she would take me to seminary and from there I could catch a ride to school. Grandma never complained and it was a special time that she and I had just the 2 of us most mornings while grandpa slept.
    Some of the best summer days were at Grandma’s house. We could play all day in the back yard and in the neighborhood. We rode skateboards and bikes up and down the hill. Played basketball, ping pong and croquet and go next door to the King’s house and ride the merry go round. She would set up the longest slip and slide we had ever done in the back yard. She always had a craft or something to make or do. If fruits were in season, we could eat all we wanted from the apricot and cumquat trees. We would go into the garden to get fresh vegetables if they were ready to be harvested. At dinner time we were always welcome in the kitchen to wash vegetables, cut things up, peel carrots, or whatever needed to be done. It was fun to help at Grandma’s. If we were really lucky we could talk her into making homemade ice cream. We would all help with the ingredients and getting the ice cream ready to go. Then we could help with the salt and the ice to keep it cold. Sometimes it took seemingly forever for it to be ready to eat, but it was always the best ice cream! Usually it was in a fancy ice cream dish, other times we used a foam cup and ate it outside, of course everyone loves grandma’s ice cream on a cone too! After playing all day, it was the best way to close out an evening before going home to bed!
    Camping at Rock Creek, Lake Powell and gong to the cabin in Big Bear were some great times too. Grandma always had something to do and could entertain us. Riding her old bike at the cabin and playing at the park just across from the airport, watching the airplanes come into land. Visiting the small museum there was entertaining. I think the zoo was one of Grandma’s favorite places to go. I loved playing in the snow and going sledding. Sunday, we were off to church and sometimes we had to WALK there! There was a car in the driveway, why are we walking? She loved being outdoors and as kids, I don’t think we realized how nice it was. We would go on hikes and see Big Bear and other paces from higher vantage points. The smell of pine trees and the crunch of pine needles under our feet were common. She loved flowers, especially poppies! I remember picking cactus apples and carefully preparing them for all of us to share. We learned about the outdoors and how to appreciate our surroundings. She was always teaching us something and trying to get us to try new things. It was great!

  3. Some of the things I remember most about Marian:
    “¢ Her endless energy. She always wanted to get out and do things.
    “¢ Her wonderful hospitality. She always opened the back cottage to us when we visited.
    “¢ Her garden. I particularly remember the plum tree and bringing home as many as I could fit in my bags, and the mini-garden patch with all the Dawson girl flowers.

    My thoughts are with you.

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