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Dr. David R. Spencer

SPENCER, Dr. David R. - Dr. David R. Spencer passed away on Monday, February 29, 2016 in London, Ontario. David is survived by his wife Judi, daughters Shara and Kyra Lynn, grandsons Sam and Nicholas, and his family, Douglas (Bud) Boughner, Larry Spencer, and Mike Spencer. He will be greatly missed by his friends, extended family, colleagues, students, and cats. After graduating from the Radio and Television Arts program at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, he started his career as a radio journalist. David worked as an announcer, producer, and production manager in Montreal and Toronto before becoming a faculty member in the Radio Broadcasting Program at Humber College. A dedicated learner, David earned a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy from the University of Toronto, accepting an appointment on the faculty in the Graduate School of Journalism at The University of Western Ontario. While at Western, David served as Associate Dean, Acting Dean, and a founding member of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS). He was promoted to Full Professor in 2002. In the course of his career, David published three books, served as the Head of the History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and as the President of the American Journalism Historians Association. He was twice nominated for the prestigious Bank of Nova Scotia Teaching Award, served as a Director on the Board of the Gordon Sinclair Foundation, and as an editor of J-Source: The Canadian Journalism Project. A loss keenly felt, a colleague wrote: "he always spoke of his family with deep caring and pride, of his work with enthusiasm and excitement, and of the other rich corners of his life with an infectious pleasure and gratitude." Friends and colleagues have shared fond memories of his mentorship, kindness, humorous stories, and love of history. In addition to his academic career, David loved to share his passion for antique radios, gramophones, and vintage British sports cars. Thoughtful, encouraging, and kind, David was someone who not only saw injustice in the world, but actively did something to fix it, quietly, (and sometimes loudly), working to make the world a more peaceful, inclusive, and better place. To honour his legacy at Western and his love of nature, a tree will be planted on campus. Donations can be made to Animal Alert or the Children's Health Foundation - London in his memory in lieu of a service.13033545
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Teacher in the journalism program, Western
Posted by Aine (Student) On Wednesday, April 6, 2016
So sad to hear about David's passing.David, thank you for being a wonderful teacher. Articulate and knowledgable in his field, David was by far the best teacher - kind, compassionate, and most of all, a great mentor who will be missed. The world needs more people and teachers like David. May you rest in peace, David.
Rest easy dear friend
Posted by Norm Guilfoyle (Lifetime friend, broadcasting cohort) On Sunday, March 13, 2016
David (Ralph to me) and I overlapped in Radio & TV Arts at Ryerson—and both worked weekends at CFRS Simcoe.

In Montreal for a new job,'Ralph’ took me in without reservation on New Year.

Later found a 'Simcoe crowd' for my 25th.

Taught me 'Quebec,’over lunch.

Last I saw my good friend, he was in TO celebrating the 90th b'day of our 'Uncle Syd'.

Sitting beside each other, ‘The Mind’ was as sharp as ever, but he was a shadow of the man I knew.

You gave life your all, Ralph. Rest easy.

The best of professors
Posted by Jason Keenan (Student) On Friday, March 11, 2016
My best memories of my time in the Journalism program at UWO in 1990-91 were my often long and always fascinating conversations with David. We shared a love of history and stories - and that often kept me out or the editing studio where I was supposed to be. My condolences to everyone.
Judi, Shara & Kyra-Lynn
Posted by Linda Wilson-Holmes (Cousin) On Thursday, March 10, 2016
We are so sadden to hear of David's passing. I have so many fond memories of visits with your family over the years and always enjoyed David's stories. May you find peace and comfort in the memories of such a wonderful man, husband, father, grandfather and respected educator. Love to you.
A fine scholar and friend
Posted by Michael Nolan (colleague and friend) On Wednesday, March 9, 2016
David had a good insight into the workings of Canadian broadcasting. We had many enjoyable discussions on the topic. His humorous story telling was in a class by itself. What was most impressive about David was the determination he showed right to the end. Clearly, he fought the good fight. My sympathies to Judi and the family.

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