[Congressional Record Volume 143, Number 82 (Thursday, June 12, 1997)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1197]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. DALE E. KILDEE

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, June 12, 1997

  Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Dr. J. 
Merrill Spencer and his wife Edith Prunty Spencer, who are retiring 
after 42 years of distinguished service to the residents of Flint, MI 
as the proprietors of the House of Spencer Mortuary.
  Dr. Spencer is a veteran of World War II, and served in the 92d 
Division known as the Buffalo soldiers. After completing his studies, 
Dr. Spencer served our community in a number of capacities including, 
teacher, principal, and postal clerk. The Spencer's founded the House 
of Spencer Mortuary on November 3, 1955. Dr. Spencer also became a 
partner in a stock brokerage firm and the Stonehearth Restaurant.
  Despite managing several thriving businesses, Dr. Spencer found time 
to serve on several boards and commissions in Genesee County. He served 
on the Executive Committee of the Genesee County Democratic Party, the 
Genesee County Board of Supervisors, was an Alternate Delegate to the 
1976 Democratic National Convention, and served for 12 years on the 
Flint Board of Education. As a lifetime member of the NAACP, Alpha Phi 
Fraternity, the Morehouse Alumni Association and the Optimist Club, Dr. 
Spencer has been dedicated to ensuring that every individual is given 
equal opportunity. As a mentor, he has encouraged many of our youth to 
  Although the accomplishments of Dr. Spencer are impressive, I think 
he would agree that his marriage to Edith Prunty Spencer is what he is 
most proud of. Mrs. Spencer has been an inspiration to me for her 
dedication to literacy. Her love of reading led her to work in a number 
of positions at the Flint Public Library. She retired as Chief of 
Public Service from the library in 1987 after 37 years of service.
  An active member of the Urban League, the NAACP, the League of Women 
Voters, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Mrs. Spencer 
has provided our community with a strong advocate for women. Mrs. 
Spencer has been recognized by her peers on many occasions for her 
selfless dedication to making our community a better place. She was the 
recipient of the Hands of Mercy Award, was recognized by Who's Who of 
American Women, and was named Alumnae of Year by Wayne State 
University. I know that Mrs. Spencer was deeply honored when the Flint 
Public Library named the periodicals department, the ``Edith Prunty 
Spencer Room.''
  Mr. Speaker, it is indeed an honor and pleasure for me to rise today 
to pay tribute to Dr. and Mrs. J. Merrill Spencer. Their lives should 
serve as an example to all of us. I would also like to extend my 
sincere congratulations to this dynamic couple on the occasion of their 
50th wedding anniversary on September 19, 1997. I ask you and my fellow 
members of the House of Representatives to join me in wishing the 
Spencer family all the best in their retirement. They deserve our