Mr. Benjamin Harrison Spencer of Decatur, GA passed away on Friday July 9, 2021 at the age of 88. “Spencer” as his friends affectionately called him, was a lover of life. He was considered by most in his social circle as the life of the party. Spencer could be found many nights through the years organizing the local craps games at his shop on E. Howard Street. Spencer was a dancer — on the weekends he could be seen boot scootin’ his way around the dancefloors of The Silver Saddle on Covington Hwy, the Decatur VFW, Cowboys in Rutledge, and the Ozone in Covington. To summarize Ben’s life- he was an athlete, a veteran, a pilot, a tire man, a father, a motorcycle racer, a cowboy, and everything in-between.
Ben was born on Jan 24, 1933 in Akron, OH; he attended Ruggles-Troy High School in Nova, OH. After high school Ben went on to Baldwin Wallace College in Bereah, OH and played fullback for the football team. After a year and a season Ben decided this wasn’t the life for him and went on to see the world in the Navy. Ben served from 1951-1955 and after his discharge he and his new bride, Elizabeth, or “Betty” as he called her, decided to begin a new life down South. The couple skated into Atlanta in 1956 on nothing more than hope and a dream and started their new life together on Fowler St, in Home Park.
In 1957 Mr. Spencer found what would later be his career working for Mr. Sam Riddick at Riddick Tire Co. on Memorial Drive.
In 1960 Mr. Spencer amassed enough to go out on his own and started Spencer Tire Co. in Decatur. He went on to work in the tire business for 50 years in total, including opening a second shop in Covington.
Before opening the second shop, Ben decided he would run for Newton County Sheriff in the 1976 election, as a way to market himself in the area. He ultimately lost the election, but had a successful tire shop that is still in business with the family today as “Tires N Wheels.” Spencer Tire in Decatur changed it’s final tire in 2007 and Mr. Spencer began “retirement”. He enjoyed his golden years changing tires for his lifelong customers, spending time down at his farm in Southeastern Newton County, and Waffle House breakfasts with his daughters.
Ben is preceded in death by his mother Mildred (1982) & father Shelly (1977) Spencer, brother Kenneth Howard Spencer (1973). He is survived in death by his daughters, Regina Breed of Cartersville, Marie (Wayne) Haynie of Mansfield, Valina (Amparo) Saldierna of Grayson, and Melina “Tadpole” (Chris) Hornibrook of Monticello; Grandchildren- Cindy (Carlos) Enriquez of Cartersville, Melissa Breed of Cartersville, Melanie (Nick) Flury of Forsyth, Chere Spencer of Jonesboro, Chris Hornibrook Jr. of Juliette, Graylon Haynie of Canton, Alle (Alex) Davis of Macon, Brandi Saldierna of Snellville; great grandchildren Cheyenne Cannon & Marina Enriquez, and Wyatt & Walker Flury.