Dr. Robert J. Spencer, KGCHS — Phoenix, Ariz.

Dr. Robert J. Spencer passed away peacefully at the age of 87, Friday, July 26, 2013, in Phoenix, Ariz.

Bob was born in Chicago, Ill. He served on the USS Bivin during World War II. Upon returning to the States, he attended Loyola University and received his medical degree in 1953 from Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago, Ill. He married his love, Marion Alice "Lolly" Bremner, in 1955, and together they moved to Rochester, where they raised six children and where Bob practiced as a surgeon at the Rochester Mayo Clinic from 1959 to 1990. He finished the remaining five years of his medical career at the Scottsdale Mayo Clinic, retiring in 1995, although he continued as a volunteer at the Clinic for many years thereafter.

A respected practitioner and teacher of medicine, he was a professor at the Mayo Medical School, University of Minnesota Graduate School and Mayo Clinic Scottsdale; was head of section, Colon and Rectal surgery at the Rochester Mayo Clinic; and authored more than 75 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and editorials. He was a member and leader in a number of professional organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery, American Society of GI Endoscopy and numerous other medical societies.

Bob enjoyed his personal and family time as a "gentleman farmer." An avid horseman, he blended his life-long love of horses with his political and religious beliefs. His children regularly participated in the annual Al Quie Trail Ride along with him. He belonged to hunt clubs in Minnesota and Arizona. He was in the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Mary Spencer, as well as his siblings, John Jr., Thomas, William, MaryAnn Flanigan and Helen Matthews.

He is survived by his sister, Bette Floberg; his wife, Lolly; children, Denise Lindquist, Julia Lizama, Karen Spencer, Laura Connelly, Robert Jr. and Michael; as well as 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral Mass will be held at Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 3801 E. Greenway Road, in Phoenix, Monday, Aug. 19, at 10 a.m. The interment is to follow at St. Francis Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to both the Mayo Medical School Alumni and Staff Scholarship fund or to the U.S. Equestrian Team.

Messinger Indian School Mortuary.7601 E. Indian School Road.Scottsdale, AZ 85251,480-945-9521. .