Spencer Owen was born two weeks early and entered this world at just shy of 10 pounds on July 29th, 2002; boy was he feisty from the get-go! From the moment he came into this world, he kept everyone around him on their toes. We quickly realized that Spencer was going to do life on his terms and nobody else’s. Perhaps this is when his sparkle started to shine.
In elementary school, Spencer was the child who always had a smile on his face, was consistently willing to help his teachers, loved making friends, was a little too chatty most days, and (no surprise here) he was a bit of a class clown. He sure did love to be the center of attention!
In 5th grade, Spencer was on the news crew, where he would read announcements everyday to his peers. That is where the twinkle in his eye started to glimmer, because this was a passion of his. Being on camera came so naturally to him and it was the highlight of his day to be front and center. This continued in high school, where Spencer was a big part of the news crew and worked his way up to producer and editor his senior year.
In middle school, Spencer learned to play the clarinet, but his end goal was to play the alto saxophone. Spencer worked hard, and soon enough, he was moved up to play saxophone and placed in the jazz band in 7th grade. Eventually, he also secured his leadership role as a saxophone section leader in the high school marching band.
One day in Middle School, he was asked by a family friend to stay after school on Friday's to attend Wyldlife. This is where Spencer's relationship with Jesus started, and he never looked back. From that moment on, he attended every summer and winter camp that was available to him, and club meetings every Friday afternoon. It continued on through High school, which develops into a new, more advanced chapter called YoungLife. He went to countless camps through this as well and even volunteered some weekends to serve and run the snack bar or work in the kitchen. A couple of years into Spencer's religious journey, his youth pastor and YoungLife mentor relocated. Spencer was quickly on the move to find a new church family. He found it with CoastLife Church in Venice, Florida. Spencer followed the proper steps to become part of the "Dream Team" where he was on the welcoming crew, assisted with parking and greeting, and if they needed an usher, he was eager to help. Most weekends at church, he attended the early service and then served at the second service. His love for Jesus was on fire and he was so encouraging to others, as he was always willing to share the word. Spencer's true thoughtfulness and giving spirit came from deep within the core of his heart.
During Spencer's junior year, he choreographed the junior class lip sync performance where he lit up the stage and they earned 2nd place. It was that performance where Spencer caught the eye of the drama director, and she reached out to him to ask if he would audition for the upcoming production of Grease in the spring. Spencer was not interested, not even a little bit! We knew he had something special, so one night we sat down with him to have a serious heart to heart talk about it. He was adamant he wasn’t doing it, but after some strong convincing and bribery of $200 to audition, he took that with no hesitation. If you know Spencer and his spending habits and love for fashion, it only made sense that he would! That was the best deal he ever made because we wholeheartedly believe it was life changing for him. Spencer was absolutely floored when he got a call-back for a supporting role, and then he was determined more than ever to land it. He did just that! Spencer was cast as Roger, one of the T-birds in Grease. That is when we all, including himself, learned that he could sing! It was in that moment he realized his natural talents on stage were a gift. Spencer already had confidence, but something in him came alive during each one of his performances. He had so much support and love from staff, friends and family that we truly believe it was a stepping stone for Spencer to become his realest self.
Shortly after Grease, Spencer found the courage deep in his soul and decided he wasn't going to to hide his true authentic self anymore. On May 10th, 2019, at the age of 16, Spencer spoke his truth and came out as an openly gay young man. The amount of pure love and support he received was astonishing. Then, on the evening of October 18th, 2019, during his senior year, Spencer had another pivotal moment. He was crowned Homecoming King. It was absolutely magical to witness the roar from the crowd, and from then on, he was even more on top of the world and truly unstoppable. He did not hold back an ounce of himself and he never for a minute was scared to show his true personality. Let's talk about that coveted crown... it became one of his most prized possessions and made the trip all the way up to Tampa with him to college! He was so proud of that accomplishment.
Spencer worked at American Eagle Outfitters at the Port Charlotte mall and he loved his job, as it was a perfect fit. Spencer was soon climbing the ladder and became a stylist, and then he was selected to be a social media influencer on Instagram. This role wasn't a big surprise to anyone that knew Spencer and his love for fashion! He had styled just about all his family and friends!
For the last year and a half, Spencer soared and did a complete 180. He was truly happy! Spencer had a way with people that made them feel comfortable around him and infected others to gravitate towards him. He found his inner strength and peace that allowed him to find his voice, speak his truth and live authentically every single day. In living your own truth, you inspire others to live theirs, and that is the legacy Spencer leaves behind here on earth.
Spencer looked out for the people he loved, was incredibly thoughtful, and was one of the most fun people to be around at any point in time. He was joyful and carried himself in a way that was so appealing to his family and friends. He was such a valued son, brother, nephew, grandson, cousin, friend, peer, and person overall.
We hope you can all learn from Spencer that life is too short to allow any time to be hiding your true and wonderful self. Live life to the absolute fullest, don't take anything too seriously, and accept others, even if they're different from you. Never stop saying I love you to those close to your heart, and most importantly, love yourself.
If love could have saved Spencer, he would have lived forever; because he was loved something fierce by hundreds of people!