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On Tuesday, October 18, 2022, Spencer David Watts, devoted husband, father, and pursuer of knowledge passed away at the age of 58.
Spence was born on July 6, 1964, in Ogden, Utah. He was the second of five children born to Everett and Myrna Loy Watts. In 1975, Spence’s family moved to Ipswich, England until 1980 when the family returned to Kaysville, Utah. Spence attended Davis High School, graduating in 1982. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Venezuela Maracaibo Mission. After his mission, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Utah, and then went on to earn his PhD in Life Sciences from the University of Oregon.
While in Oregon, Spence met his wife, Charla Martin. They were married in the Bountiful Utah Temple on February 25, 1995. They spent their first few years of marriage in Eugene, Oregon while Spence completed his PhD. Their son, Garrett, joined their family in 1996. After receiving his PhD, Spence conducted postdoctoral research at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon, and at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. He then worked as a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2014, Spence became the Vice President of Technology and Applied Chemistry at EA&G, while also working as an adjunct professor at CCAC in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.
Spence was a dedicated, life-long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loved serving in any capacity and especially with the youth. Spence was always fascinated by how things worked. He loved all things electronic, conducting experiments, and learning new skills like ham radio and 3-D printing. He enjoyed shrinking items in autoclaves, blowing things up, and playing with dry ice.
Spence’s favorite things included being called “Uncle Bill” by his nieces and nephews, the Oregon Coast, strawberry Tillamook ice cream, orchids, Christmas pyramids, chocolate Cadbury eggs, spicy foods, photography, and flying kites. He secretly always wanted to be a cowboy.
Spence is survived by his wife, Charla, and his son, Garrett; parents, Everett and Myrna Loy Watts; siblings, Ed (Tiina), Brad, Darin, Shannon, and foster sister, Nancy (Jimmy) Nelson; in-laws, Geraldine (Keith, deceased) Martin, Rob and Robin Harker, Scott and Chrissie Martin, Cameron and Julie Martin, and 20 nieces and nephews.
Charla and Garrett wish to express their profound gratitude to those who have shown so much care during Spence’s battle with pancreatic cancer, especially family, neighbors, friends, and the professionals at Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Private funeral services will be held Tuesday, October 25, 2022.
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