George Sterling Spencer II, aged 89, died peacefully on December 19, 2021 in Draper, UT.
George (Sterling to his family and childhood friends) was born on August 26, 1932 to George Q and Lucille Spencer in Salt Lake City, Utah. He grew up on the family farm in Spring Lake, UT and graduated from Payson High School in 1950 (class president). His love for his beloved and his admiration for her strength and talents were infinite. He attended Snow College followed by Utah State University where he earned a degree in Agricultural Sciences.
He spent his entire career in the agricultural industry that he loved so much. He has taught professional agriculture in Delta, Utah, and Spanish Fork, UT, where his students and teams have achieved national recognition. A teacher at heart, he thrived in helping young people realize their potential.
In 1962 the family moved to Chicago, IL, where he worked in market development and public relations for Swift & Company. In 1966 he began Swift’s executive education program in Clovis, NM and a year later relocated to Guymon, OK to help open Swift’s new beef processing facility and manage the beef operations.
In 1969 he became executive vice president of the American National Cattleman’s Association and its successor organization, the National Cattleman’s Association, where he worked tirelessly for eleven years to strengthen the beef industry and unite competing organizations within the industry.
Proud of his pioneer heritage, he aspired to bring his beloved children and grandchildren the rewards of working hard and bringing things to a purposeful conclusion. He did manual labor in his garden, on a leased farm, and in the family cabin to recover from the rigors of corporate life. He was happy to gather the family at the Spencer family’s weaver cottage. He became a master gardener and was constantly experimenting with creating a beautiful environment in his large garden. He enjoyed raising Suffolk sheep, a talent developed in childhood. His enthusiasm for his esteemed Quarter Horse Champ helped foster a love of animals in several of his grandchildren.
His interest in the emerging agricultural futures markets led him to co-found Summit Commodities in Denver, CO in 1980 for corporate relations, government relations and foundation activities. He has served on the boards of directors of the American Meat Institute and on the boards of private and public companies. In the later stages of his career, George was dubbed the “Elder Statesman of the US beef industry.”
At the age of 60, he retired to help The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints manage their extensive agricultural properties. He and Janice served their church as full-time missionaries for eighteen months. He had an unshakable faith in his Savior, Jesus Christ, and sought to serve those around him in many leadership positions in the Church: young men leaders, branch presidents, temple workers, elders quorum presidents, bishoprics, high officials Councils and Stake Presidencies . He served in the US Army Reserves for eight years.
Survived by his wife Janice, Draper, UT; sons Stephen Q Spencer (Kathy), Sammamish, WA; Mark J. Spencer (Wendy), South Jordan, UT; Scott H. Spencer (Heidi), Draper, UT; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; Brother Daniel H. Spencer (and wife Vera), Littleton, CO; Brother-in-law C. Dwight Wood, Salt Lake City, UT.