Dave Spencer

Obituary of Dave Spencer

Dave Spencer passed away on Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024 after a long battle with skin cancer. He was 76 years old. Dave fought his illness mostly in private because he didn't want people to worry about him.  He was so strong, courageous, loving, generous, and quiet but full of wit until his last breath.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Karen (Porath) Spencer, who passed in 2015. He is survived by his 2 children, Chris & Kelly Spencer, Chris' wife Shannon and their kids Brady & Sean, Kelly's daughter, Makena, his godchildren and many other family members. He was an amazing dad, papa, friend, manager, coach, role model, and good human.  Family was everything to Dave.

Dave was born in San Diego, and his family moved to Santa Cruz when he was 2 years old.  Dave attended Live Oak Elementary, Del Mar Jr high, and Soquel High.  He played youth baseball in Live Oak Little League, Mid County Pony League, and various leagues after that.  After completing high school, his passion for cars led him to automotive training school.  He then started his career as an automotive technician at Prolo Chevrolet in Santa Cruz.  Little did he know, that would lead him to a 50+ year career in the auto business.  He progressed through the business as a service manager, general manager, and owner.  He always cherished the relationships that were built during his profession, from employees to customers.  He considered his employees like family.

Dave's passion for coaching started in 1966 for Mid County Pony League.  For the next 30 years, he coached various basketball and baseball teams around the county.  He finished his coaching career as the basketball coach at Soquel High, where he retired in 1994.  He truly loved the relationships that were built from his coaching years, and he considered his players family as well.

Some things about Dave that he loved...his family, his friends, Chris and Kelly's friends, his players, his employees, cars (he could name any car year, make & model just by glancing at it), car auctions with the fast talking auctioneer, steak & potatoes dinner,Bud light & olives, trips to Hawaii, donuts, sporting events, playing golf at all the nice courses,  the Northstar house (even though he didn't ski but loved having a fun vacation house for family & friends), gravy with a side of mashed potatoes, mounds of whipped cream with a tiny slice pumpkin pie, fixing things, the quote..."Team work makes the dream work" (by John C. Maxwell), treating everyone with respect, rooting for the underdog/underprivileged and guiding them in any way he could, driving/road trips(he wouldn't think twice about driving down & back to UCSB in one day for Chris' baseball game or Kelly's tennis match), the candy drawer in his office, surprising a kid with a $20-$100 bill on their birthday or for no reason at all (he LOVED seeing the look of shock & happiness on that kid's faces when he did that).

A running theme throughout all the condolences we've received was that he was like a SECOND FATHER to them, the BEST COACH they ever had, the BEST BOSS they ever had. It makes us feel honored that he influenced and affected so many in such a positive light.  He truly has no idea how many lives he has impacted.  He never looked for attention or recognition, he just always did the right thing.

As much as we'd like to celebrate Dave with a big party, he was adamant that he did not want a funeral. He did not like a lot of attention, so we are trying to work on a video montage that we will share it when completed. In the meantime, please raise a glass to cheers & celebrate Dave for the incredible man he was and wonderful life he lived and keep his memory alive.

Thank you to everyone who has already reached out to us. We have been so touched by all the love and support we've been given. It warms our hearts to hear your stories about how much he affected your lives and to know how loved, admired, respected he was. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being his friend. He is already deeply missed. The only thing bringing us comfort is knowing that he is back together with our mom, the love of his life, his high school sweetheart, Karen Spencer.

In honor of Dave, let's all try to be more kind, generous, hard working (while having fun too) and continue to spread love, positivity & encouragement.