Mrs. Bertha French Spencer



Bertha French Spencer, daughter of the late Thelma Ward French and Eleanor M. French, was born on November 18, 1933, in Dublin, Virginia. She was one of six children.


Bertha received her K through 12 education in the public-school system of Bristol, Virginia. She furthered her education attending Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee. While attending college, she was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Bertha was a lifetime member of the organization. She graduated from Knoxville with an undergraduate degree in Education. After graduating from college, she followed her oldest brother, Charles, and mother, and relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shortly after relocating to Philadelphia, she met William Oliver Spencer, Sr. and they were united in holy matrimony July 1957. They have one son, William Oliver Spencer, Jr.


Bertha was employed by the State of Pennsylvania as a public-school teacher at Glen-Mills. She was a natural and very eager to excel up the ranks of teaching by furthering her education. She acquired a master’s degree from West Chester State College and a Doctorate of Education from Cheney State University. Bertha later retired with more than 30+ years from teaching as a principal at Cato “Special Needs” Public School in Camden, New Jersey. After retirement, she became involved with many organizations, like Twin Tiggs, Deltas, and even dabbling in politics. She enjoyed being active and enjoyed helping people.

Bertha was a woman of strong will and flare, who truly loved her family. She carried an infectious laugh, full of spunk and spirit, very quick with her tongue. You never guessed where you stood with her! Aunt Bert or cousin Bertha accepted with pride and joy a responsibility/pillar, connecting the south & north, two families, McDaniel’s to the Spencer’s. She was truly loved and respected by all who met her.


Bertha went to be with the Lord on Friday, September 25, 2020, at UNC Rex Hospital, Raleigh, North Carolina. She will be joining her late devoted husband of fifty-plus years, William Oliver Spencer, Sr.


She is survived by one son, William Oliver Spencer, Jr., wife Genita Clifton Spencer; two grandsons, John William Spencer and David Matthews Spencer, wife Mishka Spencer; one brother, Charles J. French; and a host of other relatives, close friends, and her sisters from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.


Services for Mrs. Bertha Spencer will be conducted Saturday, October 10, 2020, at 11 am from Lee St. Baptist Church.


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