Nicholas Fraser Spencer (Nick), 35, of Gleneden Beach, Oregon, and formerly of Magic Valley, Idaho passed away on Saturday, July 11, 2020 in Portland, Oregon from a tragic fall at his home. Nick was a registered organ donor and made the ultimate sacrifice on Monday by donating multiple organs in the hopes of saving and enriching other people’s lives.
Nick was born September 27, 1984 in Jerome, Idaho to Kitty Martin and Mark Spencer. He was the youngest brother to three big sisters: Trish, Tami, and Emily. As a teenager, he acquired three more big sisters: Shayne, Anna, and Katie. Luckily, he also acquired two brothers: James and Noah. He adored each and every one with all his heart.
Nick went to school in Jerome, Idaho, graduating in 2002. Nick’s lifelong struggle to manage his epilepsy didn’t hold him back from trying his hand at many professions, including logging for his uncle in Montana and winemaking in Walla Walla. Nick was a jack-of-all-trades and worked in wineries, orchards, and restaurants, including Elevation 486 in Twin Falls, Idaho where his co-workers soon became his friends for life.
Nick met the love of his life, Nicole (Nicky) ZeBarth, in April 2011. They met as neighbors and have been together ever since. Nick did not have any children of his own but acquired both children and grandchildren through Nicky. He adored Tanner and Landon and would have done anything for them. He was proud to be called “Grandpa Nick” and enjoyed explaining how he could be a Grandpa to Boston and Blayke (and soon-to-arrive baby girl) while still looking so very, very young.
In April 2015, Nick and Nicky decided to move to the Oregon Coast. This ended up being the best decision they ever made. They loved nature, the weather, storms, crabbing, attempting to fish, hiking, long nature drives, and the beach walks and sunsets. Once again, Nick made friends out of neighbors, co-workers, and local tavern regulars. He considered them his second (or third or fourth) family. Nick and Nicky lived next door to the Salishack Tavern. In his daily visits, he loved to hug and joke and talk over a beer on the deck he had helped to build. In addition to his Surfrider Inn and Blaykes nursery jobs, he was often called upon by the neighborhood and community to do side jobs. He would never hesitate to help and it didn’t matter to him if he pitched-in for free or was paid in beer or money. Nick loved to help and give.
For all his love for friends and family, Nick’s heart was with dogs. From his childhood black lab, April, his parent’s Australian Shepherd, Hank, to the many animals he acquired with Nicky, dogs were an endless joy for him. It was not unusual for a phone call with Nick to simply be a play-by-play account of what his dogs were doing. His special little dog was Skeeter which he nicknamed Stinky. He’d been teaching him to learn to walk without a leash around the neighborhood, but both would usually just wind up in the local tavern.
Nick had the kindest disposition, biggest heart, and most gentle spirit. He was a champion of puppies and lover of strays. He was energetic and hardworking. Kind and bright. Everyone he met he cared for and considered his friend or family. He loved life and people. You would rarely see Nick without a smile. He looked forward to Fall every year to watch the BSU Broncos and was converted by no choice of his own to be a huge fan of the New England Patriots. He proudly showed off his and Nicky’s sweatshirts almost every day.
Nick is survived by his grandmother, Rita Hanley; his parents, Kitty & Jamie Martin; Mark & Cindy Spencer; love-of-his-life Nicole ZeBarth, her children and grandchildren: Tanner, Taylor, Boston & Blayke DeBoard; Landon & Micayla DeBoard and arriving any day their new baby girl, arriving with a kiss from Nick; Nicole’s parents Galen & Gail Lierman; his siblings and their families: Trish English, Chris Hilton & Samantha English; Tamara, Lily & Charlie Shores; Emily Gregory, Freddy, Kevin & Aidan Skogheim; Shayne, Garrick, McKenna, Landon, & Kaleb Olson; Anna Martin; Katie, Paul, Bella & Bailey Lardy; James, Ashley, Kelsey, Kinleigh, and Kaelynn Martin; and Noah Spencer. Countless beloved cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, coworkers, and numerous cherished dogs.
The family would like to thank the Neuro Trauma ICU at Legacy Emanuel in Portland and the Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank for their kind and tender care of Nick while we awaited his gifts of donation. And a special thank you to neighbors Jessie & Elonka for all their care and support when it was so needed.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July 18th at 11:00 a.m. Due to restrictions of COVID-19, we are asking to keep in-person attendance limited to immediate family. This will be an outdoor celebration in which masks and social distancing are mandatory and dress is casual (as Nick would like it).
We will be webcasting for those wishing to view the service virtually. For the link to the webcast, contact either the family directly through our Facebook Group: “Celebration of Life: Nick Spencer.” We look forward to visiting with you in the webcast to share funny stories, pictures, and memories. Nick specifically asked to never have a sad funeral. He wanted a party where family & friends could gather with laughter & happiness.
He will be laid to rest at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Port Hill, Idaho, alongside his grandfather Bill Hanley, uncles Bill and Barry Hanley, and many, many ancestors.
In lieu of flowers, we request donations be made to Donatelife.net or the Humane Society.
You will be deeply missed, Nicholas. God will know that you are too energetic and that sitting still is not a possibility, so you will have numerous jobs looking out for all of us. Fly high my sweet angel.