Gerald Spencer Jr. '60
February 8, 2019 1:35 PM
updated: February 8, 2019 1:38 PM
Published in Houston Chronicle on Feb. 10, 2019
Gerald R. Spencer
Gerald Roy Spencer, P.E. died peacefully in his sleep early on February 7, 2019. Born in South Carolina to Johnibel Spencer Roberts and Roy Coleman, Gerald grew up with his mother, brother, grandparents and great grandfather in Fort Worth. He graduated from
Texas A&M in 1961 with a degree in mechanical engineering and was a proud member of the Corps. Gerald moved to Houston to begin his career and steadily became one of the most prominent and sought after MEP engineers in Houston during the latter half of the
20th century. Houston's phenomenal growth and the call for his services allowed Gerald to expand his company to include architects and engineers to accommodate the number of projects in which his firm was involved. As both a Registered Mechanical Engineer
and Registered Electrical Engineer, Gerald successfully operated Spencer Engineers Inc. for the last 50 years, working on projects throughout the world for government and private clients, including NASA, the U.S. military, the U.S. State Department, the City
of Houston, the Port of Houston, Methodist Hospital, MD Anderson, and Jones Hall. Gerald has also served the City of Houston as a member of its Plumbing Review Board since being appointed by then Mayor Louie Welch in 1970 eventually serving as Chairman of
the Board for decades.
Gerald worked all over the world and was recognized as an "engineer's engineer", solving issues and creating solutions that were outside the scope or capability of other engineers. Incredibly brilliant and able to handle multiple tasks, he was familiar with
the European Construction Standards and with the British Electrical and British Plumbing Codes that have been superseded by European Union Standards. Gerald was the Foreign Country Engineer of Record for three projects in Saudi Arabia; one project in Bahrain;
six projects in India; one project in Denmark; one Project in Nassau, Bahamas; one project in Chile, and one project in Barbados in addition to hundreds of US based projects.
Gerald had been a multidiscipline project manager for the last 50 years and was also the Mechanical and Electrical designer and MEP Engineer of Record for numerous projects which included health care facilities, medical & chemical research laboratories, computer
equipment rooms, high rise buildings, office buildings, hotels, educational facilities, aircraft control towers, army ammunition plants, food service facilities, warehouses, hazardous waste processing facilities, radioactive nuclear materials laboratory production
facilities, dormitories, barracks, foreign country embassies and consulates, military facilities, munitions manufacturing facilities, auxiliary power generation facilities, telecommunications facilities, food refrigeration facilities, space simulation facilities,
seismic event resistance design for MEP equipment, plants for ground water removal of contaminants, hazardous waste storage facilities, underground storage tank certifications for hazardous waste, and military family housing projects.
Gerald was the MEP Engineer of Record for the design and construction of medical, biological, chemical and hazardous materials research laboratories that comply with the latest OSHA and Texas State Hospital Accreditation Guidelines. He was the AE of Record
for specialized HVAC systems for Exxon, Schenectady Chemical, Dow-Badische Chemical, DuPont Chemical, Celenese, the M D Anderson Surgical Research Laboratory, NASA Lunar Receiving Laboratory, The Methodist Hematology Research Laboratory, The Methodist Hospital
Immunology Research Laboratory, Fort Sam Houston Institute of Surgical Research, and The Methodist Hospital Brown Building.
Mentored by his long time architectural associates, the legendary Williams Paul Jones and James Dunaway, Gerald became the specification writer for Architectural, Civil, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Project Contract Specifications on more than 75 Federal
Government projects conforming to the applicable Federal Government FARs and DFARs.
Gerald was the Engineer of Record for Industrial control and instrumentation systems including many DCS, SCADA, UCS, EMCS, PLC, CPU, PID, and Distributed Control and Data Acquisition systems, including the 32,000 point DCS at NASA-JSC for operating and data
acquisition for Space Simulation Chambers "A" and "B". Additionally Gerald was the Engineer of Record for SCIF, Mecca, Tempest, Building Line Carrier Attenuation, Ground Carrier Path Attenuation and other electronic communication security systems for U. S.
Federal Government secure classified communications facilities and secure information systems around the world. Facilities where Gerald was the AE of Record also included facilities for physical security, controlled access, security monitoring, intrusion detection
systems, blast resistance, RF shielded construction, Nuclear fall-out shelters, forced entry rated security facility design, and safe areas.
While previously employed at Bernard Johnson Engineers from 1961 to 1966, Gerald was very proud to be the design engineer in training for the following historic new construction projects: Jones Hall for the Performing Arts – Houston, Nine floor office Building
2 & 3 story computer Building 4 at the NASA-JSC original construction, eight story office Building 45 at the NASA-JSC, and the Plutonium Laboratory – Rocky Flats, Colorado. While there, he was the Engineer of Record for the following new construction projects:
Ultra High Vacuum research facility Building 33 at the NASA-JSC, Mt. Carmel Catholic Church – Houston, TX
While previously employed at Wyatt C. Hedrick Architects & Engineers from 1967 to 1968, Gerald was extremely proud to be the Engineer of Record for the FBI Academy – Quantico, VA and the Federal Courthouse San Antonio, TX.
Gerald loved adventure, the arts, and military history. He was the previous holder of an AMA Motorcycle Racing License (Sportsman), an SCCA Race Driving License (Formula V), designer and builder of Formula V cars, a private pilot's license, was a parachutist
of note, an Arthur Murray Bronze Medal dancer and amateur boxer. He had been a partner of the Theatre Under the Stars for the last 40 years, and was a dedicated WWII enthusiast and historian.
More than anything else, though, Gerald loved his family. Adored by his wife and children and all his extended family, he is survived by his wife of 36 years, Bonnie Easterly Spencer, his daughter Ashley Spencer King (husband Loren M. King IV), his son Gerald
R. Spencer, Jr. (husband Cory Frimann Spencer), his grandson Loren M. King V, his brother Don Spencer (wife Sue Spencer), and his in-laws Cathy Easterly, Dr. Clay Easterly and wife Dr. Joan Easterly, Joy Easterly and Lloyd Easterly and numerous nieces and
nephews. A funeral mass will be held at 9:30 a.m., Monday, February 11, 2019 at St. Anne's Catholic Church at 2140 Westheimer. Interment will be in Waco, TX at the historic Oakwood Cemetery. Gerald will be buried next to his beloved mother, the late Johnibel
Spencer Roberts. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Dr. Clay Elliott Easterly and Mary Elvira Easterly Memorial Scholarship Fund, LSU University, Office of Student Affairs, 2020 Gravier Street, 7th Floor, New Orleans, LA, 70112, (504) 568-4874,
www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/student_affairs. This Scholarship Fund was organized by his wife and her siblings, and has provided needed tuition to medical students at LSU and was one of Gerald and Bonnie's favorite charities.
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