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Donald Hughes ‘Don’ Spencer Sr., a civic-minded, lifelong resident of Madison, died on Jan. 13. In the photo from 2019, Spencer, at center, accepts a Madison City Coin from District 3 Councilman Teddy Powell. RECORD PHOTO

Community remembers Donald Spencer’s public service

MADISON – Donald Hughes ‘Don’ Spencer Sr., 78, influenced the future of Madison with his civic contributions. Spencer died Jan. 13.

Spencer was born Jan. 27, 1944, in Huntsville. After graduating from Butler High School, he earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in 1967. Spencer completed the Juris Doctor degree at UA School of Law in 1972.

Spencer worked in farming with his father and grandfather in southwest Madison County and southeast Limestone County. Spencer’s career as an attorney started in private practice in Huntsville. He opposed the possible annexation of Madison by the City of Huntsville. He retired from Teledyne Brown Engineering as Vice President of Legal Counsel.

In 1985, Spencer led a citizens’ committee to change Madison’s form of government. He was elected as Madison’s first representative on Madison City Council for District 1, later serving as Council President. He briefly served as Interim Mayor of Madison in 1989.

Among many concerned citizens, Spencer supported a feasibility study leading to the secession of Madison’s schools from the Madison County Schools system. With the new district, Madison City Schools, he was a charter member of Madison Board of Education and led as its charter Board President.

In addition, he taught business law courses at Calhoun Community College. Spencer participated with Madison Volunteer Fire Department for 28 years, working as firefighter and Assistant Chief. He served on various city boards and committees.

For his entire life, he was a member of Madison United Methodist Church. An avid outdoorsman, Spencer enjoyed fishing, horses and especially English-style foxhunting.

Donald was preceded in death by his mother, Barbara Ann Hughes Spencer, and his father Donald Spencer. He is survived by his sister Patricia Spencer Ryan (Mike); his four children — Melissa Spencer Owen (Robert), Carol Spencer Swanson (Bruce), Donald H. Spencer Jr. (Loree) and Matthew G. Spencer (Alicia); seven grandchildren — Jessica Myers, Taylor Owen, Emily Pendlum, Carly Swanson, Nick Spencer, Maddie Spencer and Meighan Winton; one niece — Rachel Ryan; and five great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held on Jan. 17 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Legacy Chapel Funeral Home, 16 Hughes Road in Madison. His funeral service is scheduled for Jan. 17 at 6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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