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Spencer Tanksley '68 February 20, 2017 9:19 AM updated: February 20, 2017 9:22 AM

306 EAST POLK STREET, BURNET, TX 78611-2539 | 512-756-2222

Spencer DeWitt Tanksley
June 1, 1946 - February 17, 2017

Memorial Service
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | 11:00 am
First Christian Church
410 N. West St., Bertram, Texas
Driving Directions

Monday, February 20, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
First Christian Church
410 N. West St., Bertram, Texas
Driving Directions

Spencer "Spence" DeWitt Tanksley
Spencer "Spence" DeWitt Tanksley, 70, of Bertram, Texas, passed away on February 17, 2017 at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Round Rock. Born in Burnet on June 1, 1946 to Dr. T.D. Tanksley, Jr. and Margaret (McAndrew) Tanksley, Spencer spent his early childhood in Llano. There he made lifelong friends who he considered family before moving to Bryan where he graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School.
Spencer received a B.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M University and while there was a member of the National Champion Judging Teams in Wool, Meats and Livestock. He also served in the Army Reserve and traveled as a student worker for Texas A&M Foundation Seed taking him to El Paso. Spencer went on to obtain an M.S. in Agriculture from West Texas State University.
In El Paso, Spencer met the love of his life, Linda Jean Barton, and they married on June 7, 1969. Their 47 years together began in Vernon where Spencer was the Assistant County Extension Agent for Willbarger County. In the three years there Spencer and Linda were embraced by dear families who took them in and taught them what it was to be a family.
The next stop was Muleshoe where Spencer was the Bailey County Agricultural Extension Agent. Here, Spencer and Linda welcomed son Colin and daughter Courtney. Life was full with livestock abounding and the best things of small town life like Friday night football and Little League. Over 19 years, Spencer found friendships that lasted the rest of his life. He was devoted to his work helping farmers and his prized 4-Hers find success through hard work and smart decision making. Leaving this extended family was one of the most difficult decisions of his life.
In 1991, Spencer became the Washington County Agricultural Extension Agent and moved his family (steers and all) to Brenham. With only three years left in the life of his own children's showing years, Spencer quickly took more beloved families under his wing expanding his circle of hard working protégés. Spencer took on all new professional challenges as well, moving from flat cotton country to a land of trees and ponds with an all new host of agricultural issues to conquer. Along the way, Spencer also began his tour of judging livestock shows across Texas, one of his favorite pastimes.
Spencer loved his Mother and Father and chose to be close to them and the family homestead later in life. He "retired" in 2001 and moved to Bertram where he and his father had built a thriving cattle operation. Spencer treasured his time on the farm and dreamed of building an operation he could pass on to his son and grandsons, that dream now realized.
In Bertram, his life flourished with the arrival of his biggest blessings- grandsons Cole and Cade. "Papa" adored them, and they filled his heart with their love and their accomplishments in baseball, ranch life, hunting and fishing.
Spencer was honored with many awards including the Texas Agricultural Extension Service Superior Service Award, the Texas Agricultural Specialist's Association Distinguished Achievement Award, the Texas Agricultural Extension Agents Association Distinguished Service Award, and the Burnet Chamber of Commerce 2012 Rancher of the Year.

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