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Colonel Victor Spencer family

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Colonel Victor Spencer family

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Joseph Victor Norman Spencer, known as Colonel Victor Spencer, was born in 1882 in Victoria, B.C., the tenth child of David Evans Spencer, founder of the David Spencer Ltd. chain of department stores. After serving in the military during the Boer War, Victor Spencer began ranching as part of a government homesteading project. In 1913, he married Gertrude Isabell Winch, daughter of Vancouver businessman R.V. Winch. Victor and Gertrude Spencer had seven children: Isabell Louise, usually known as Louise (1913-2000), Trudean Lorraine (1915-1987), Barbara Ellen (b. 1920), Diana Margaret (b. 1922), Victor Vance (b. 1924), John Fife (b. 1927), and Elizabeth Ann, known as Ann (1933-1990). Victor Spencer worked in management and as an executive for David Spencer Ltd. until World War I, when he joined the Canadian Army. He retired at the end of the war as a lieutenant-colonel, and it was from this rank that he earned the title Colonel, by which he was known for the rest of his life. Upon his return to B.C., Spencer continued his ranching enterprise, eventually owning five ranches in British Columbia: the Douglas Ranch Lake in Nicola Valley, the Pavillion Ranch on Pavillion Mountain, the Bryson Ranch in Pavillion Valley, the Circle S Ranch at Dog Creek, and Earlscourt, a ranch at Lytton, which also served as a part-time home for the family. In addition to ranching, Col. Spencer served as director of the Pioneer Gold Mine and Pacific Nickel Mines, and worked with businesses including Vancouver Iron and Engineering Works and Westcoast Shipbuilders Ltd. Col. Victor Spencer owned a home at 1750 Trimble Street in Vancouver, known as Aberthau. The Spencer family lived there from 1919-1939, when the home was purchased by the Royal Canadian Air Force for use as an officers mess for the RCAF station at Jericho Beach. Col Victor Spencer was a follower of various sports, including rugby, rowing, and horse racing. He was an avid supporter of the Vancouver Rowing Club, for which he purchased and donated the shells that the University of British Columbia team used in the 1956 Summer Olympics. When Col. Victor Spencer died in Pasadena, CA in 1960 he was survived by his wife, his children, and 14 grandchildren. Following his death, the ranches were sold. Gertrude Spencer died in 1976 in West Vancouver.

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