March 1, 2013


Wilma Jean (Bland) Spencer, 82, of Winston-Salem, N.C., and formerly a longtime resident of Scranton, died Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Monday, March 4, at Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Scranton.

Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Casket bearers will be Paul Spencer, David VanSchooten, Philip DiGiannantonio, Andrew VanSchooten, Bill Wenger, and Justin Robbins.

Burial will be in Scranton Township Cemetery. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, make memorials to Scranton Public Library.

Online condolences may be left at

Jean Spencer, was born Nov. 28, 1930, to Abbie Marie and William Orville Bland in Valley Junction.

While Jean was still a baby, her mother died, leaving Jean and her siblings to be raised by their father and their beloved grandmother Viola O'Connell.

Jean was baptized and raised in the Episcopal faith. After graduation from high school, Jean attended Drake University in Des Moines. It was there she met her future husband, Harold Spencer, while at a dance. After college, Jean lived in North Carolina and worked as a bookkeeper and accountant until her marriage to Harold on June 1, 1953, in Jefferson.

To this marriage, four children were born: Jenise, Nancy, Rosemary and Paul. In 1957, Harold, Jean, and their children moved to the Garland Farm in Kendrick Township where she and Harold resided until retirement.

Jean was a wife, mother and homemaker who devoted her life to her family and her community.

While the children were growing up, Jean taught Bible Release Time at Scranton Methodist Church. She was active in the Girl Scouts of America as a Brownie and Cadet leader, and served as president of Greene County Federated Women's Clubs from 1982-1984.

Jean was a member of the Greene County Hospital Auxiliary and a past president of the Scranton Legion Auxiliary. Jean loved working as librarian for the town of Scranton for 11 years until retiring in 1987. She, along with her dear friend Deanna Slocum began the local book club, the Alphian Society. In addition, Jean was also involved with starting Scranton's Mid-Summer's Night Dream celebration.

Jean was a passionate, caring volunteer. She was a Pink Lady at Jefferson Hospital, delivered Meals on Wheels, and dropped off and picked up library books to those who could not leave their home. In her later years, Jean volunteered at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll.

In her spare time, Jean was an avid reader. She also liked filling her home with plants where her green thumb was on full display. Jean and Harold enjoyed traveling within the United States and also to South America and Europe.

Jean is survived by her daughters, Nancy (Philip) DiGiannantonio of Harleysville, Pa., and Rosemary (David) Van Schooten of Winston-Salem, N.C.; son, Paul (Vicki) Spencer, Prattsville, Ala.; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding Jean in death were her parents; husband, Harold; daughter, Jenise; two sisters, Beulah Bland and Cleo Bolin; and her brother, James W. Bland.