Charles Bruce Spencer passed away on January 1, 2022, at Parkridge East Hospital.
He was born on November 3, 1931 in Chattanooga. He was raised and educated in Chattanooga and graduated from Chattanooga High School, where he was a Golden Gloves Boxer. He became a Golden Gloves Champion while at CHS. He attended the University of Chattanooga before going into the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After an honorable discharge from the service, he married the late Gloria Jean Ledford and they moved to Athens Georgia, where he attended the University of Georgia and graduated with a B.A. in Journalism. He was a member of Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity while at UGA. He and Gloria moved back to Chattanooga after the birth of their son Wesley.
He worked with Arcade Advertising and Lithography, and after their daughter Cheri was born, he started his own advertising agency in 1960. In 1963, Bruce went into the publishing business after purchasing a small magazine, Voice of the Tennessee Walking Horse. He grew the magazine into the industry leading authority on Walking Horses. He was also part owner of Battleground Stables in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia with Glorias’ dad, the late L.O. “Sheriff” Ledford.
The family owned and showed Walking Horses for several years during this time. He was on the board of directors of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association and served two terms on the Horse Industry Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 1970, he testified before a U.S. Senate committee and was instrumental in the formation of the regulatory board for the Walking Horse Industry. He was also owner of the Tri-State Auto Auction in Fort Oglethorpe, GA. He published the Voice magazine and several other regional and national magazines until 1976 when he sold the company.
In 1982, he formed an association for pipe smokers and began publishing Pipe Collectors International magazine. The magazine had subscribers in 50 states and 42 foreign countries. He was a published author in the World Book Encyclopedia on pipe smoking and collecting. While still running the association, Bruce, with Glorias’ well wishes, went back to college in his mid 50s to earned his masters degree in Psychology/Community Counseling from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In 1989, he sold the Pipe Collectors Association and magazine, and became a case manager and psychotherapist at Parkridge Medical Centers Christian Counseling Center.
For the next 13 years, Bruce worked at Parkridge and Valley Hospitals. He was well known for his Christian counseling, community outreach, family seminars, lectures and television appearances on a variety of mental health subjects. He was on the Board of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies and the Board of the Mental Health Association. He retired in 2003 from HCA. He was a Board Member at Hickory Creek Townhome Association and was the manager there from 2005-2008. He also continued to conduct seminars and lecture to area churches and community organizations.
Bruce was a cradle Episcopalian and was active in the Diocese of East Tennessee. He was a member of Grace Episcopal Church and St. Martins Episcopal Church. He was a Lay Reader, Chalice Bearer, Lay Eucharist Minister and served on the Vestry of both churches. He helped to publish “Salty Christians”, a book on the history of Grace Episcopal Church. After years in the Episcopal Church, Bruce and Gloria changed denominations and joined Covenant Presbyterian Church. He remained an active member there until his passing.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria, his parents, James W. Spencer and Joscelyn C. Spencer, and his brothers George and Dale Spencer.
Survivors include his children, son, Wes (Kathy) Spencer and daughter, Cheri (Robbie) Taylor, grandchildren, Logan (Ashley) Spencer and Ashton Spencer, Ryan (Julie) Taylor and Sydney (Ryan) Williams, and great-grandchildren, Malachi, Milana, Taylor, Breck, Calin, Kama, Harper, Kaiden, Jaxon and Tatum.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that you please make a contribution to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Funeral services will be at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 10, at Covenant Presbyterian Church with Pastor Eric Mullinax and Pastor Render Caines officiating at 8451 E. Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421. Interment will follow the services at Chattanooga National Cemetery with military honors. Family will receive friends from 10:30 a.m. until time of service at the church.
Please share you memories of Bruce with the family at www.chattanoogaeastbrainerdchapel.com
Arrangements are by the East Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 8214 E. Brainerd Rd., Chattanooga, Tn. 37421.