On the afternoon of Thursday, May 11, 2023, well known and well loved Cantonian Barbara J. Spencer passed away peacefully at her Canton Township residence following a courageous battle with cancer. She was 72 years of age. Born August 5, 1950 in Montour Falls, NY, she was the daughter of Robert Stone and Geraldine (Allen) Stone. In 1968 she married her high school sweetheart, Vern Spencer, and together they raised two daughters and a son. Known for her big heart, friendly demeanor and quick wit, Barb was the quintessential “people person.” In addition to her responsibilities as a home maker she was the proprietor of Barb's Tax Plus for 25 years. Her clientele became her extended family. Barb's civic-mindedness and generosity led to her deep commitment to the Canton community. She served for many years as president of the Canton Area Chamber of commerce, conducting the monthly meetings which she jokingly referred to as the Barbie & Ken Show. It was during this time that she instituted The Giving Tree, a program that provides Christmas gifts for the less fortunate children in our area, hand delivered by Santa and his helpers.
Barb's life was not without trials and tribulations. The tragic loss of her son left her devastated, as one would expect. But out of the depths of her despair she established a counseling group called Compassionate Friends to assist and comfort others in their time of grief. Barb also had bouts with various other health issues, but always faced them with a positive attitude. After retiring from her accounting business she took a position with Morse and Kleese Funeral Home as a greeter and assistant to the director.
Barb always did stride through life with self-confidence and a countenance that naturally drew others to her. To paraphrase the old song, she did it her way. Her faith in the Lord was the cornerstone of her life, and she embraced the Christian fellowship of the Canton area community of faith. Thursday afternoon the Lord reached out His hand and Barb grasped it.
She is survived by her husband Vern, at home, daughters Shelly Spencer of Florida and Tami Baker of Canton, brother Lee (& Trish) Stone of Florida, half brother Kenny (&Cheryl) Stone of Elmira, NY, half sister Penny (&Kevin) Rood of New York, stepsisters Theresa (& Vern) Morgan of Shunk, Pa., and Sharon Patton of Ellenton,Pa., grandchildren Cory (& Allison) Route, Colby (& Ashley) Route, Zack Roupp and Joslyn Baker and great-grandchildren Oliver Route and Liam Route and very special friend Bartha Liddic. She was preceded in death by her father Robert Stone, stepfather Joseph Kilmer, mother Geraldine Kilmer, son Terry Spencer, stepbrother Terry Miller and half brother Ronnie Stone--.
In keeping with Barb's wishes services and interment are private, and have been entrusted to Morse and Kleese Funeral Home,94 N. Center St., Canton. Contributions in Barb's memory may be directed to the charity of one's choice.
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