Cover photo for Joe Spencer's Obituary
Joe Spencer Profile Photo
1942 Joe 2024

Joe Spencer

March 19, 1942 — February 20, 2024

Joseph Ralph Spencer, also known as Joe, Mr. Spencer, Coach, Daddy, Papa Joe, and Grand shar-shar, was born March 19,1942 and passed away on February 20, 2024, surrounded by his family.

Joe was born at Barium Springs Home for Children, Statesville, NC., where his parents were raised, met, and married. He came to Cleveland in 1958 and attended Bradley High School. He worked at Miller's Department Store in the Village Mall for several years.

He attended and graduated from Lee University with his teaching degree. That began 44 years of teaching and coaching, beginning at Birchwood High School. He then moved to Bradley County Schools: Michigan Ave. Elementary School, Trewhitt Jr. High School (Lake Forest), and Bradley Jr. High School (Ocoee Middle School). He began coaching early in his career. Bradley Jr. High (OMS) was his longest tenure. He was the head coach for the 8th grade girls' basketball team, winning several state championships, and accumulating 1000+ wins. He received several recognitions including naming the road at Ocoee Middle School "Joe Spencer Pass" and having his signature inlaid on the gym floor. He was also an inductee in the upcoming 2024 class of the Cleveland Bradley County Sports Hall of Fame. Joe also coached track and field and girls' soccer.

He was a mentor to young teachers and especially to young coaches. His players found his practices and play ethics to be hard. But little did they know that they would carry those lessons with them into adulthood.

Joe and the Spencer family have been faithful members of First Presbyterian Church for over 66 years. Joe was very involved with teaching adult Sunday School, leading youth, and organizing the yearly Family Camp at Camp John Knox. He was honored recently with the naming of this yearly event the "Joe Spencer Church Family Camp".

Joe is preceded in death by Ralph and Bobbie Spencer, parents; Bob Spencer, brother; Jacob Clark, grandson; and Gene Gregory, his best friend since childhood. He leaves behind to honor his memory his wife of 37 years, Charlotte. Daughters: Kathy Clark (John), Jean Sneed (Garth), Jessica Gomez (Manny), and Andrea Kilgore (Owen). Grandchildren: Jennifer Poole, Braden, Grace, and Myles Sneed, Zander Gomez, and Mallie Kilgore. Great-grandchildren: Grayson and Maggie Poole. Brothers: David Spencer (Sue) and John Spencer (Connie) and Katy Spencer, Sister-in-Law.

Joe loved Jesus with all his heart. He wasn't afraid to share his faith with anyone who would listen. He also loved searching for Bigfoot and John Wayne was his hero. He LOVED books! He shared his books with many and helped people who didn't like to read become avid readers. Joe was a hero, a friend, confidant, and the biggest cheerleader of his family and those he led through teaching and coaching.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, February 24, 2024, 11:00am-2:00pm, at First Presbyterian Church, 433 N Ocoee St, Cleveland, Tn., and celebrating his life at 2:00pm.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers to please consider sending a memorial donation to First Presbyterian Church, Cleveland, or to Children's Hope Alliance Barium Springs, 194 Barium Springs Dr., Statesville, NC 28677. You are invited to share a personal memory of Joe or your condolences with his family at his online memorial located at www.companionfunerals.com. Companion Funeral & Cremation Service and the Cody family are honored to assist the Spencer family with these arrangements.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, February 24, 2024

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland

433 North Ocoee Street, Cleveland, TN 37311

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Funeral Service

Saturday, February 24, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland

433 North Ocoee Street, Cleveland, TN 37311

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