In Memory of Spencer Peterson ’70

Spencer Charles Peterson, a man with a Guitar and a Heart of Gold 71, Life-long Minneapolis resident and renowned local rocker, passed on October 25th, 2019, surrounded by family, friends and adoring fans. Spence was known for his straightforward personality, an uncanny ability to connect with strangers and his deep repertoire of songs and anecdotes. He was a natural entertainer on and off the stage. Born July 6th, 1948 to parents Sally and Cyrus, Spence grew up with two younger sisters he adored, Janet (Jajie) and Melissa (Missy). He attended Blake High School and Ripon College, making many life-long friends. Above all else was Bay Lake, where Spence spent summers at his grand-parents’ cabin. There, his grand-father, Papa, laid deep foundations in the young man’s heart and mind, teaching him the guitar and setting an example for the life well lived — working hard and playing hard. Spence dedicated himself to that credo, traversing many careers while raising four children, Nicholas, Nathan, Kelsey and Schuyler with his former wife, Tori. Countless summer days and nights filled with laughter echo off The Point. Whether cheering on the Gophers, casting a hook for crappies, walking the links or enjoying a cocktail cruise. Or the tough decision you needed help thinking through, the missteps, the hard times. He was with you all the way. He couldn’t pound a nail to save his life, but his fingers could walk the strings like an old country road he’d built himself. A little old-school in his ways, once he started singing, the room was helpless catching fire. It didn’t matter if it was family sing-a-longs with best buds Denny, Tony or Billy or the JR Spencer Band before a cheering crowd, we would all get lifted “higher and higher”. The family is especially grateful to Lucy Stringer, his partner the last six years. They shared a love that bridged our families and put a twinkle in his eye. Services will be announced for gatherings at Bay Lake and Madeline Island in the Spring. Spence, we thank you for all the love you gave, right to the last note.