Merle “Spencer” Nienhuis of Oak Harbor, passed away peacefully on the afternoon of November 19, 2022, at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington.
Spencer was born on February 12, 1944, in Coupeville, Washington to John R. and Eleanor Lucille Nienhuis and had two older siblings, Cynthia and James (Jim). Spencer grew up in Oak Harbor and
graduated from Oak Harbor High School. He then joined the Air Force in 1964. After serving, he worked for Robinson-Crenshaw dealership (the owners were Ronald Crenshaw and Roy Robinson) in
Coupeville where he learned how to do auto body work, such as painting vehicles, pinstriping, and detailing. When the dealership closed, Spencer then went to work at Don Boyer Chevrolet/Pontiac in
Oak Harbor. While working at Don Boyer Chevrolet/Pontiac, Spencer met and became friends with Kathryn Pasag, who worked next door at InterWest Savings Bank. During their friendship, they soon
fell in love and got married a couple of years later on December 29, 1984 at the NAS Whidbey Island Chapel. On February 28, 1987, they were blessed with a son and named him Matthew.
A few years later, Spencer started working for Puget Sound Security Patrol at the Texaco Refinery (now known as HollyFrontier Corp.) in Anacortes. As the security companies changed, Spencer remained working as a security guard at the refinery until he retired. Spencer was a person who enjoyed landscaping, especially creating beautiful flower beds with multiple types of flowers. He also loved our three cats, Liberty, Addison, and his own, Buddy. He and Buddy were inseparable. Spencer also liked to read. When he retired, he added another passion after seeing Matthew’s photography skills. Spencer was so intrigued that he went on many photo shoots with Matthew. His favorite type was landscape photography. In fact, Spencer joined an online photography group and was selected to be one of their curators.
During the past few months, Spencer’s health declined. On November 9, 2022, he suffered a heart attack that was so severe it damaged his heart to only functioning at most 10%. Spencer knew his next
journey would be with the Lord. He expressed his love for his wife, Kathryn, and his son, Matthew. On the afternoon of November 19, 2022, Spencer passed away peacefully in his sleep and went with the
Lord. Spencer is survived by his wife, Kathryn, and his son, Matthew.
We regretfully inform all that there will be no funeral or memorial services, but please share your thoughts and prayers through the Wallin Stucky Funeral Home website. We appreciate your understanding in this difficult time.