James Richardson Spencer

March 7, 1942 – July 31, 2016

Basin native James Richardson Spencer passed away peacefully at his home in Boise, Idaho on July 31. Memorial services were held Aug. 6 at Calvary Chapel.

Jim was born March 7, 1942, in Basin, the son of Frank and Ruth Spencer. He grew up and received his education in Basin and graduated from Basin High School in 1960.

Jim entered the U.S. Navy at Treasure Island, Calif., as an electronic technician and received his discharge in 1963.

While working in Santa Ana, Calif. he met Margaretta “Meg” Long; the couple exchanged vows Oct. 5, 1966.

In 1968, the family moved to Idaho so Jim could attend Ricks College where he majored in journalism. After a year spent at Arizona State University, they returned to Idaho where Jim worked for the Rexburg Standard Journal.

In 1976, the family moved from St. Anthony to Idaho Falls where Jim managed the local Electrolux Vacuum branch.

In 1980, the family planted a church, Shiloh Chapel, in Idaho Falls; the church later merged with the Christian Center and was renamed Shiloh Christian Center. It continues to have a thriving congregation.

In 1984, Jim published “Beyond Mormonism,” an account of his journey to Christ, and founded the newsletter, “Through the Maze.” After years of pastoring, he believed God had called him to work full time in the “Through the Maze” ministry. In 1989, the family moved to Boise, where he began to travel across the country speaking and teaching; he wrote several more books and published a monthly newsletter.

He was an expert poker player; he had many, many varied interests and hobbies, most involved making something cool or learning how to win at something.

He threw himself wholeheartedly into whatever he did; when he decided to become an expert on the Bible, he discovered the answer to the biggest question of all – Jesus Christ, and he became a walking, talking salesman for Him.

He was a wonderful, caring father and husband. He never missed an event that Meg or his children were involved in. He attended choir, piano and dance recitals, plays, operas, volleyball, basketball and when grandkids made their appearance, football and baseball were added to the mix.

Jim was endlessly generous and never met a stranger he didn’t want to help, whether it was with money, a place to stay, or a meal. He didn’t just act like he cared; his actions proved that he cared.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his older siblings, sisters Eva and Shirley, and brother, Frank “Buzz,” and his grandson, Scott.

He is survived by his wife, Meg; his daughters and sons-in-law, Michael and Kim Spencer Lockwood, Jeremy and Heather Spencer Ferguson, John and Erin Spencer Morgan and Eduardo and Jaime Spencer Alvarran, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.