- This article is about the ADEM officer. For the Alabama Power executive, see Steve R. Spencer.
Spencer was the son of George and Frances Spencer and grew up as an "Army brat" at his father's various postings. He graduated from East Anchorage High School in Alaska and then enrolled at Jacksonville State University, where he was active in the ROTC program. After graduating he joined the U.S. Army and served during the Vietnam War. He remained in the Army Reserves after leaving active duty to work as a mine inspector.
Spencer was one of the first staff members for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, heading its Birmingham field office for most of his career. He was also one of the founding members of Ruffner Mountain Nature Center and the Vulcan Trails Association and was active in the Cub Scouts as a leader. He returned to school and earned a master of science in aquatic biology at Samford University in the 1980s. For his thesis he studied the recovery of a stream following a toxic spill.
During Operation Desert Shield Spencer returned to active duty as a chemical decontamination specialist in Saudi Arabia. He earned a Bronze Star for his service. In retirement he assisted with disaster recovery efforts through Clearbranch United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
- "Stephen Keith Spencer" obituary (November 22, 2017) The Birmingham News