ROSWELL, Ga. — Carol Spencer, 62, was one of those people who seemed to touch everyone around her with her friendliness and care. The wife of longtime Roswell Fire Chief Ricky Spencer, Mrs. Spencer died Jan. 9 after a short battle with lung cancer. A longtime supporter of the fire department, the entire fire Roswell Fire Department gave their respects to her by crossing their engine ladders at the funeral.
Mrs. Spencer was a workaholic who spent her professional career in the banking industry in the Roswell area. A 1968 graduate of Milton High School, she and Ricky grew up together. They eventually married in 1984.
Mrs. Spencer was the banker who made the initial loan to restaurateur Bob White to open Slopes BBQ on Alpharetta Highway in 1990.
“She loved eating our Brunswick stew,” White said. “She would come in often, and we enjoyed having her here.”
White met Mrs. Spencer in the 1970s when he began banking with the Roswell Bank – the only game in town back then. Mrs. Spencer was a loan officer then.
“She was friendly and very helpful. Upbeat and willing to help whenever you needed it,” White said. “I liked her so much I followed her to every bank she worked in.”
White’s story is similar to many others, where Mrs. Spencer’s friendliness and willingness to help attracted loyal customers who followed her as her career took her to several local banks.
Mrs. Spencer often worked 12-hour days up until she became sick.
“She worked her whole life and she didn’t get to enjoy one day of retirement,” her husband said. “All the things we had planned to do, she won’t get to do them.”
A workaholic, she loved her job when she was helping people. She also worked part-time at local stores at the makeup counters. Ricky said she loved to chat with people as she made them up. It was her way to cool down from a long work week.
One of her good friends, Theresa Coleman, said Mrs. Spencer was a one-of-a-kind person.
“She was one of those people, if you met her you never forgot her,” Coleman said. “She was one of those personalities that everybody who met her, loved her.”
The two knew each other for more than 40 years, being both personal and professional friends.
“It's going to be a little louder in heaven because of that laugh of hers,” she said. “I have a big hole in my heart right now for her.”
One of her loves in life was relaxing at the beach. The couple owned a beach house in Florida until 2006, and Mrs. Spencer would spend her days relaxing on the shore or playing in the water.
“Even at 60 years old, she was riding a jet ski with her grandchild,” Ricky laughed.
Then the family discovered the cancer Nov. 12.
Radiation and chemotherapy treatments began at the end of November, making her sick and weak, however by Christmas, she was able to return home and enjoy her time with friends and family.
Shortly afterward, she began having difficulty breathing and returned to the hospital. She died Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 1 a.m.
The funeral parlor was filled to capacity by well-wishers and people whose lives she had touched and every worker and vehicle in the fire department came out in support.
Her husband said he was taken aback by the amount of love given by the community.
Memorial websites such as Legacy.com were filled with expressions of sympathy for the Spencer family.
“[She was] the most loving person I ever had known or will ever know,” wrote Robi Ferguson of Morrow.
Susan Balch of Roswell wrote, “She was a treasured friend and I will truly miss her. She brought so much joy and laughter with a kindred spirit that will live on.”
“She was liked by everybody and always put everybody else in front of herself,” he said. “She wouldn’t even eat her food until everyone, including the dog, were given their food. Everybody she touched had good things to say about her. She is going to be missed.”
Mrs. Spencer is survived by her husband, daughter Kim, son-in-law Chad Musgrove of Gainesville and granddaughter Brooke. She was buried Jan. 11 at Green Lawn Cemetery.