Charles Parker Spencer, Jr., age 83, of Lincoln, NE, died of complications of kidney disease on January 6, 2019, in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Lincoln, NE. Charles Spencer, Jr. is survived by his wife, Floretta Shumake Spencer, of Macon, GA; her daughter, Amber, two grandsons, Kai Hall and Taron Williams, also of Macon, GA.
He is preceded in death by his parents, The Reverend Charles Parker Spencer, Sr., and his mother, Elma Brown Spencer, as well as his brothers, William Spencer and Theodore David Spencer of New Orleans, LA.
Charles was born on February 10, 1935 in Salem, NJ. He attended Woodbury High School in Woodbury, NJ. Afterward, he joined the United States Navy in 1952 and entered submarine training school in Bainbridge, CT. After completing his tour in the navy, he went to New York and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Apex School of Beauty and was co-owner of a fashionable beauty shop on St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem. All the while, in the evenings, he would take his harmonica and sit in on sets with some of the great jazz artists of the time, such as Thelonius Monk.
Charles then met and married Consuella Thompson, and had three children, Charles Spencer, III, Jaton Spencer and Diana Washington, all of whom he was extremely proud.
While establishing a Jazz and Blues career in Atlanta, GA, Charles met and married Floretta Shumake. Charles was always fascinated with different sounds and rhythms and played over 20 instruments, including the xylophone, and a self-designed 4 string guitar. He then retired for a short time in Central Florida, re-establishing ties with his siblings. Finally, Charles moved to Lincoln, NE, where he built a tight network of devoted friends and musicians.
Charles was a bright light in any dull place, always kind and loving, just a touch quirky, with a very sweet soul, and an incredible sense of humor-definitely marching to his own drumbeat. He loved the stage and all of its ‘bling’!
He leaves to mourn him a host of friends and family-brother, sisters, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, aunts, nieces and nephews.
The family is honoring his request for cremation and would like to thank the staff of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Dialysis Center of Lincoln, NW Location, Crestview Care Center, and all who loved and treated Charles with kindness.