It's with deep regret and great sadness that we share the loss of 80 year old Irene Spencer. She died peacefully in Mexico, surrounded by her family. Irene was laid to rest in Mexico, next to her late husband, Hector J. Spencer. She was a proud and beloved Mother to 14, Grandmother to 129, and Great-Grandmother to 140+ ... and a great friend to ALL. She was full of wisdom, compassion and unconditional love, always making her family and friends smile with her spunky and humorous personality. The great author and Gramitas will be missed beyond words, but will live on forever in our hearts and through her books.
Irene Spencer came from five generations of polygamy. As the second of ten wives, she was the mother of 14 of her husband's 58 children. Her captivating story provides an intimate look at the daily struggles Irene faced as a plural wife.
During her twenty-eight years in a polygamous marriage, Irene gave birth to thirteen children (all single births). Her ninth child was adopted as a newborn daughter.
Hector J. Spencer, Irene's faithful husband of twenty-five years, passed away on January 21st, 2013 at their home in Mexico, where he was layed to rest.
Irene travels spreading her love between all of her children and loved ones, however, Irene's headquarters are in Northern California with her oldest daughter, Donna, where she continues to write and work on various projects.
Irene has 127 grandchildren and 121 great-grandchildren . . . AND . . . there are more great-grandchildren on the way! Irene tells people she doesn't have a family tree, she has a family forest. Irene finds time occasionally to baby-sit with each of her grandchildren, sharing enough time with each of them to convince them they are her favorite!
Irene's number one love is her family, so when she's not writing or speaking, she is on the road, traveling the globe from Alaska to Mexico, Idaho, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Louisiana to visit her "family forest". Irene attends as many new births, birthdays, weddings, etc. as possible.
Among her many talents, Irene is an accomplished seamstress who takes great pleasure in sewing for her family and friends; also an accomplished cook, Irene loves to treat family and friends to good home-cooking that includes fresh from the oven homemade bread and mouthwatering pastries. Irene is a world traveler, having traveled through 25 of the 50 states and to 23 foreign countries. She speaks both Spanish and English fluently.
Although she had only a ninth grade education, Irene earned her G.E.D. and took a creative writing class at UNLV. When asked, she always says her best degree came from the school of "hard knocks!"
In fulfilling her passion and calling as an inspirational speaker, Irene shocks, amazes and motivates her audience. As she travels the country, Irene shares with her audiences how they too can find the strength, encouragement and self-empowerment that will enable them to be the best they can be, no matter the circumstances. Irene interweaves humor throughout her testimony of her former, unconventional lifestyle. Her story cuts deep into the heart of the listener, as she shares her firsthand knowledge of the tragedy and heartbreak endured as she experienced emotional breakdowns, the loss of a child at birth, the death of her beautiful adopted daughter who later succumbed to breast cancer at the tender age of 35, and the death of family members via suicide, murder and car accidents.
Ironically, Irene exudes a countenance of joy and hope, inspiring and encouraging everyone who meets her. The transparency Irene displays in her life, while speaking and through her writing make Irene so approachable that she identifies with everyone at some level. Irene proclaims, "I want to be the voice that rises to the very height of womanhood...a voice that resonates throughout the world. I will speak up for every emotionally or physically abused woman, who has been silenced through fear!" Irene serves as a keynote speaker for "Rescue Missions," church congregations, women's centers, and other groups and events throughout the country as invited.
Despite the demands on her time to fulfill her speaking engagements, Irene finds time to continue her writing and spend time with her family. With plans to author additional books, Irene just smiles when asked when she will take time to rest and responds "When I'm 6 feet under!"