Third Daughter: Surviving George Owen

This obituary appeared in
the Payson, Arizona newspaper, The Payson Roundup, some time in the last 7 days.

Obit_Spencer George “Duke” Spencer died Oct. 14, 2009 in Payson.
He was born May 8, 1927 in Illinois.

Mr. Spencer moved to Payson in 1991. The Army veteran worked for a time as an
actor in Hollywood, appearing in the John Wayne film “War Wagon” and the films
“Hour of the Gun” and “Prison,” among others. He was also a volunteer with the
Special Olympics program.

He is survived by his wife, Annie G.S. Spencer of Payson; son, John Shaffer
Spencer of Chandler; and grandson, Kyle.

There will be a memorial service at 3 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23 at Mount Cross
Lutheran Church in Payson.

Donations in Mr. Spencer’s name may be made to Hospice Compassus or to a
special fund for Annie Spencer at Wells Fargo Bank.

You might wondering who this
guy is and why I posted his obituary. He was my father and much of the information listed in that obituary are lies and mistruths.

George “Duke” Spencer

My father’s name was George
Owen Spencer. Most people called him “Duke” after a figment of my father’s
imagination. He was also called “Sam”, “Owen” and “Guy” at various times
throughout his life.

An Army Veteran

My father was born in  May of 1927. This would have made him 18 in
1945. World War II ended in late April and early May of 1945 when the Germans
surrendered. Technically, having been in the Army qualifies you as an Army
veteran. Does that mean one is a “veteran” in the terms we tend to think of?   George Owen
Spencer never went overseas, never saw combat and the German surrender ended
his army career.

An Actor in Hollywood

Ahem. This is a ginormous
load of shit. It’s true my father always wanted to be an actor. It’s true he
thought of himself as actor. But the only acting he really did was off camera.

War Wagon & Hour of the

Both of these films were released
in 1967 and he is not in the credits of either film. No SAG card either. I was
born in 1964. My father was working for the state of Utah during 1965 and 1966.
This means he would have had to have been in two places at once! My mother
moved herself and I from Utah to California in 1967. My father followed that
same year from Utah and probably stepped foot in Hollywood for the first time then.


He was actually in this one.
He’s in the credits AND he actually worked at the prison where it was filmed. I
also remember he mentioned something about it in a phone call. I’ve never seen it and it’s
not in my top 50 movies to see even if Viggo Mortensen has the lead

Survived By

Ms. Annie G. S. Spencer
would lead all of Payson to believe the man had only one wife and one
child.  The truth is he is survived by
FOUR natural daughters. He adopted two sons; one is deceased and the other is mentioned in the obituary. By our count, he had at least five wives.

My first thought was when I saw the e-mail was "He's finally dead". I have not cast eyes on him
in 26 years nor spoken to him in 20.
The only
reason we know he is dead is because my sister and I set up Google Alerts to
let us know when an obituary was posted. Although his widow
had both my sister's and my mother's telephone numbers, she chose not to call and let anyone know of his death.

The memories my mother, my
sister and I have of him are tainted with lies, betrayal, sexual abuse,
abandonment and loss. We’ve spent years sifting truth from untruth, like
prospectors mining for gold in a pan.

I feel relieved, at peace, and freer.

I have indeed survived him.


15 thoughts on “Third Daughter: Surviving George Owen

  1. It’s really very simple, John. If you are posting anonymously on my site,don’t presume to preach to me about honor and respect. Posting anonymously on a blog like mine about an issue like this is chicken shit. Had I not know who you were straight off, I would not have published your comments at all. Most anonymous post are deleted outright by me unless previously arranged.
    As for your wife, she no is longer welcome to post anything on this blog until she begins to behave like a grown woman with some dignity instead of some Jerry Springer fishwife. To say her response was personal must be one of the great understatements of the century. She was bullying, verbally and emotionally abuse BOTH times she posted.


  2. Oh, a side comment as I know you should still get theses. Simply making it so my posts no longer show does not really accomplish any thing other then showing you still have growing and recovery to do, which I am assuming is true. I would hope that you change this and allow my comments to be posted again as I have not really done anything rude or impolite in my recent posts, though my first one was pushing the border slightly for a supposedly civilized individual which I try to be. I am hoping that I am wrong and you will allow my posts to be seen by others again and that we can come to a more peaceful type of communication instead of name calling (which I have not resorted to) or rude comments (which I have not resorted to but your “grow a pair.” borders on). I am simply hurt by what you have posted and wanted answers and now simply want to have my comments voice heard as well (in a manner) as you want yours heard. Once again I am sorry if anything I have said up to this point has hurt you or any others reading this and I do promise I will be much more civilized in any posts, comments or questions I post on your site.


  3. “Grow a pair.” is not a civilized or helpful comment of any kind. Wanting to remain anonymous until more information or a better understanding of the type of person that is being dealt with should be understandable from some one who has suffered abuse (which I was sure you would understand, maybe I was wrong). I do not know if any of my other comments on your site will remain up or be posted in the first place though I hope they will be.
    I wanted to say I do agree with what Carrie Spencer stated and how she put it in her post above (both posts, well all posts honestly so far) about how nothing he has done in his last 20+ years or so makes up for or erases what he did prior and I wanted that to be known (if Krishanna allows this to be posted).
    None of what I have been saying up to this point was meant to discredit you or harm you as that was not the intention and I do apologize if it does Krishanna, truly. Mainly what I have been trying to get across is that I want some sort of proof though this might not have been stated properly at first. But honestly it does not matter as it is very likely he did do these things in his prior life, no matter how much I don’t want them to be true. Just proof would be nice if possible to put any doubt or questions to rest. I can tell you are the person who does not necessarily think about what kind of affect of what you say or day may or may not have an affect on those you are saying stuff to or doing stuff to (depending on what type of person you really are) which is why I was very hesitant to post my name or email address initially. Honestly though it does not really matter so my name and email is included in this reply if that makes you feel any better.
    Comments as to your response for my wife. Unfortunately she does speak her mind (and some times fortunately as well) without any constraint or holding anything back. I know some of what she said was more personal that it most likely should have been, but then again you stated things in a very public forum about a man she loved dearly that showed nothing but love (in a good way, not a vile way) to her and often time gave advice that helped with the current issues/situation at that time. Thus she reacted the way any hurt person would, the only difference is she reacted the way should would, without holding anything back and simply saying exactly what was on her mind as she typed the response. I don’t know if she would still say the same things as she posted below or not. And I appreciate that you simply did not resort to name calling and “stomping” of your feet in a response back.


  4. Thanks! We’ll see where it all takes us. I don’t expect us all to be bosom buddies, but I feel like we’ve all had enough drama for 100 lifetimes. It’d be nice to open our minds, hear each other’s views, agree to disagree, and take the opportunity to learn more about who the man actually was – if that’s of interest. Or continue the past – no contact. But sparring is silly. Far better things to do with our time. Neither of us is the enemy. This doesn’t have to be a war. Can’t we all just get along?


  5. I have refrained from posting a reply because, frankly, I didn’t think it was worth the energy. Anyone who spouts off like this in such a mean, hateful, and unfeeling way – especially knowing what you know – certainly isn’t worth my time. And, honestly, Krishanna has said most of what I would. Besides, I didn’t feel any need to stick up for my sister – she can handle herself (and always has) beautifully. However, in the days that have passed, I’ve changed my mind. I have something to add.
    The love you had for my father seems to run deep, and I understand how frustrating it must be to read less-than-complimentary things about him. But, is name-calling and really necessary? Does it make his memory any more honorable for you and the others who loved him? Did you change any minds with your attacks? Or have you only succeeded in making an already awkward and tense situation that much worse? You don’t even know Krishanna (not even one conversation), and yet you’ve called her a witch, jealous, and without a life. Have you even tried to put yourself in her shoes? Even once? What are you more interested in – making sure that the entire man is portrayed, or just the part you knew? Based on your comments, I can only assume you’re interested in the latter.
    I’m not interested in trading insults or making the man into something he wasn’t (good or bad). As I mentioned in my reply to “Not Important,” I am interested in learning about who he was, the things he did, and what made him tick – in all the phases of his life, not just the phase of which I was a part. Our past has a huge impact on who we become in the future – and Duke was no exception. If you’d like to have a constructive conversation about my father based on reality, sharing the man we each knew to help try to piece together the whole man he was (good and bad), let me know. But, if you’re just interested in badmouthing, name calling, and stomping your feet, I wish you the best – but, please, do it somewhere else. Life is too short.


  6. I’m truly pleased that, whatever his motivations were, his last years were spent adding to lives, rather than damaging them. I don’t wish this kind of drama on anyone. It’s important to remember, however, the man lived over 80 years. You knew him for just about 1/4 of that, and the other 1/4 he was just a kid. Like it or not, he transgressed on the souls of many in that remaining 50% in so many ways, and those transgressions left quite a mark. While we have learned to live with them and even moved beyond them, the choices he made have changed who we are and impacted our futures. Just as the pain he caused doesn’t undo the good you refer to, the good doesn’t absolve him of (let alone erase) the damage either. Both will live on forever in his children, his relationships, and the others he impacted for good and bad. As it should be.
    For what it’s worth, I’m convinced that Krishanna isn’t sharing any of the information on her blog to even attempt to hide or “undo” the good. That’s not how she’s made. She’s merely sharing her story in an attempt to help other survivors. Clearly, she’s open to hearing (and sharing) other perspectives or she wouldn’t have posted Holly and your comments.
    I understand that all of this is likely quite a shock to folks who had no clue. I can’t imagine how that might feel, and can understand holding on to everything you know. If you’d like to continue the conversation to learn more about the entire man – and share the man you knew – let me know. I am, as I have always been, interested in knowing about all aspects of my father – in all the phases of his life. You can get my e-mail through Krishanna or at the URL linked above.


  7. I’m supposed to take seriously, a comment about honor and respect from a person who posted anonymously and gave a phony e-mail address to leave one?
    Grow a pair.
    Any further comments from you can be sent via e-mail.


  8. I understand you feel a need to protect your illusion of what George Owen was to you. I will go so far as to say that perhaps he did turn over a new leaf but I do not believe he did it to become a better person. Self-preservation is one hell of a motivator.
    Had there been good moments to post about his life when we knew him, they would be posted. But there were none. When we knew him he was an unmotivated, sexually-abusive, alcoholic adulterer who would lie when the truth would sound better.
    You need to re-read newspaper articles regarding his “film career” He never once said he was an extra in those. Saying you’re an extra in War Wagon and saying you worked with John Wayne are two entirely different things.
    SHould you need a refresher on the newspaper articles published about the man you can find a list I’ve compiled at


  9. And this coming from someone who would like everyone to believe she is a “Christian” woman?
    Do you have any ability to self-edit? Do you even think about what you say before you say it?
    The fact of the matter is you DO NOT KNOW that what I’ve posted is lies and bullshit, though it’s apparent you desperately need them to be.
    My father did in fact want me, in way that is vile and unnatural.
    You are correct. I have no idea what his last years were like nor did I want to know. By the time I was 19 I had had more than enough of George Own Spencer. I do know he spent them hiding in a small town where no one thought to look into his background, where he thought he could not be found.
    I am glad you found him to be a saint and that your experiences with him were good.
    Ours were not.
    Any further comments from you can be sent via e-mail.


  10. your a self centered witch dad Spencer was in the movies we have proff you didnt know him so your just jelous so you got to write a bunch of lies and bullshit only someone with no life (such as yourself)need to write a bunch of crap she knows nothing about you said yourself you had not seen him in 26 yrs so what the f— do you know!!!!your just a hurt little girl that daddy didnt want get over it! he was a good man and we all loved him!I KNOW YOU WONT POST THIS SO TAKE EVERYTHING YOU WROTE ABOUT DAD SPENCER AND SHUVE THEM UP YOUR FAT FUCKEN ASS!!!!


  11. I see you require comments to be approved first so I am assuming my last comments will simply not show up here. If you do have any honor or respect for anyone you will post it here even though it does not agree with your statements.
    Any further comments from you can be sent via e-mail.


  12. Unfortunately I am not sure where your anger comes from nor if any of your information you stated is true. I do know this man had two different lives, one prior to his last 20+ of his life and then the last 20+ years with is new wife and son. If he had past sins and transgressions against others I am sad to hear this but they do not change what the last 20 years of his life was.
    His acting carrier which was nothing more then playing the roles of an extra in many of the movies he mentioned (which with further review you could actually find this information, extras are not normally mentioned in the movie credits). The real speaking role being the one he played in the movie Prison. He did still met many people in the business just as any extra has the chance to do so.
    He served in the military even though he never saw action other then the ship he was on being fired upon he was till a member of the military during a time of war which does make him a veteran by the technical standards whether or not you want to acknowledge this.
    In this last 20+ years of life on this planet he did indeed help many people through simply his advice and his assistance in volunteer programs such as Special Olympics. He helped many people achieve what they thought they could not possibly do by simply being there and offering a open ear when needed followed by advise that only the wisdom of age and doing as much as he has done in his life time could bring. This can not be undone by any comments you make about the man.
    I do apologize and I also have sympathy for any pain he may have brought you in his prior life as I do understand certain things can be very painful to deal with, even once the person that has caused them is gone from your life. Also I do apologize for posting this here and anything that this may take away from your feeling of having survived this but it had to be stated as his prior life was nothing like the life he lived the last 20 years or so and this had to be mentioned. I hope you all have happy and long lives and that no one once you are gone decides to post only the bad things you have done in your life for all to read and try to hide what was good in it.


  13. I’ve read this a gazillion times now, and it still strikes a chord. It’s about time he did something that brings you the peace and freedom you’ve always deserved, but that he hijacked. You have always been a survivor. If you ask me, you survived him long before he died. But knowing there will be no comebacks or future transgressions makes it seem official. I, too, will be where you are, helped in part by your example.


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