Lorajean Elizabeth Vrieze Spencer, 33, of Rochester, went home to heaven Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, at Rochester Methodist Hospital, after a two-year battle with Spindle Cell Sarcoma.
Lora Jean Vrieze was born Dec. 7, 1978, in Rochester, to Allan and Jean Vrieze. She spent her childhood in Chatfield and Glenwood, before moving back to Rochester and graduating from Byron High School in 1997. After studying at RCTC, she married Jeremiah Spencer on April 22, 2000, and they were later divorced in 2009. Their two daughters were the center of her world.
With her leisure time, Lorajean loved performing in local theater productions, volunteering at the History Center of Olmsted County, teaching Sunday School, gardening, composting, genealogy, 4-H, and caring for her urban chickens. Lorajean enjoyed her colleagues and working at Mayo School of Health Sciences and Mayo Clinic for 10 years.
Lorajean will also be remembered for her inspiring, humorous, and frank blog entries through which she creatively traced her journey with cancer. Many have found perspective, faith, and wisdom as they shared in the comedy and tragedy of her story.
Lorajean is survived by her two young daughters, Elizabeth and Leia Spencer; their father, Jeremiah Spencer; parents, Allan and Jean (Siegle) Vrieze; brother, Lance (Cassie Kennedy) Vrieze; sisters-in-law, Molly (Larry) Murphy and Katy (John) Coleman; nieces and nephews, Amelia and Allana Vrieze; Ryan, Kari and Brody Murphy; and Xander Coleman. Also survived by Lorajean: Jeremiah’s parents, Tim and JoAnn (Rapp) Spencer; his grandmother, Catherine (Powers) Spencer; uncles and aunts, Maxine (Vrieze) and Richard Fieck, Karen (Vrieze) and Jerry Hamm, Richard and Ruth (Paul) Vrieze, Betty (Siegle) Flaherty; and many beloved cousins.
She was preceded in death by grandparents, Fay and Gertrude (Stoskopf) Vrieze, Fred and Elizabeth (Fiechtner) Siegle; uncles and aunts, Emil and Nettie (Siegle) Tahran, Bud and Peggy (Siegle) Flaherty, Chuck Flaherty, Harold and Clara (Siegle) Flaherty; and cousins, Ronald Hamm, Kay Nicholson and Ron Flaherty.
The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at Evangel United Methodist Church, with Rev. Jeff Utecht and Chaplain Warren Anderson officiating. A visitation will be from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, also at Evangel United Methodist Church.
Lorajean has bequeathed her body to Mayo Clinic’s Department of Anatomy and will have a final resting place in the Cherry Grove Cemetery in Cherry Grove.
Memorials are suggested to Heifer International, Evangel United Methodist Church, or the Eagles Cancer Telethon.
Mahn Family Funeral Home-Rochester Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Friends may sign the online guestbook at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.