Spencer D. Nave, Jr.
Spencer David Nave, Jr., age 75, of Elizabethton, Tenn., passed away peacefully under the care of Hospice at Sycamore Shoals Hospital on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, with his devoted wife, Kay, by his side.
Born on February 20, 1944, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Spencer D. Nave, Jr. was the third child and first son of Spencer David Nave, Sr. and wife, Margaret P. Nave.
Serving in the military and desiring to relocate his family to his hometown, Spencer, Sr. moved his young family to Elizabethton, Tennessee. Spencer, Jr. was only four months old at the time of the move; thus, he has always considered himself an Elizabethton native.
Spencer took it upon himself to find ways to supplement his family’s income. At the age of eight, he took a job as a paperboy delivering the GRIT, followed by employment as a curb hop at Dutch Maid, dishwasher at West Way restaurant, and many other miscellaneous jobs.
Spencer’s biggest decision was receiving Christ as His Savior at the age of thirteen at the First Baptist Church, Elizabethton.
Before the start of his senior year of high school, Spencer voluntarily signed up with the military. Spencer proudly served in the United States Army from March 1961 to January 1967. He completed basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. From October 1961 to January 1964, Spencer was stationed at Fulda Gap, Hesse, Germany, serving with the 14th Armored CAV AVN CO.
Spencer served in Vietnam from October 1964 to April 1966. Upon his arrival in Vietnam, Spencer was stationed at Tan Son Nhut, serving with the 121st AVN CO. He was also stationed at Bien Hoa, serving with A CO 501st AVN BN (Rattlers), and Vung Tau, serving with the 68th AVN CO. Spencer was a helicopter crew chief. Neutralizing the enemy, rescuing the wounded, and retrieving the dead were just three of his daily duties.
Medals awarded include the Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal x 2, Air Medal x 32 with V for Valor in Combat, Army Commendation Medal with V for Valor in Combat, Army Expeditionary Medal, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star for Valor in Combat. Spencer was honorably discharged from the United States Army from Fort Eustis, Virginia, on January 10, 1967.
Spencer earned his GED while serving with the military and was awarded his High School diploma from Elizabethton High School after his military service. Upon completion of his military service, Spencer embarked on his career as an over-the-road truck driver, which spanned 40 years and five million miles. During those years, Spencer was gifted the scenery of this beautiful country and had the opportunity to meet people of all races and cultures.
In 2002, Spencer defied the odds by surviving a fiery accident, which destroyed both cab and trailer. Spencer retired from driving in November 2005.
Spencer held veterans’ causes close to his heart.
He is a life member of the American Legion, VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America), VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), DAV (Disabled American Veterans), and the Rattlers/Firebirds Association. Spencer was also a member of the 40 & 8 Society and Rolling Thunder®, Inc., Tennessee Chapter 4, previously serving on the Board. Spencer served as a registered volunteer at the Veterans Administration, Mountain Home, until health issues determined otherwise. Spencer was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of Dashiell Lodge #238, Elizabethton, and Scottish Rite, Knoxville, earning his 50-year pin, January 2019.
Spencer’s interests included singing and writing songs, motorcycle riding, gardening, reading, researching his Northern Cheyenne Native American heritage, Civil War history, cane making, westerns, sitting on the porch, horses, fishing, and NASCAR.
Spencer’s faithful feline companion, Tailgunner, was always by his side.
Residing in his grandparents’ 1920 home for the last ten years has been a fulfilled dream.
In addition to his parents, Spencer was preceded in death by his youngest brother, Christopher L. Nave (2012), his youngest sister, Cynthia J. Nave (2016), and his oldest sister, Ellen V. “Ginger” Shell (2017).
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife – Kay Bohrer Nave; two sons – James Darrell (Karen) Nave, Augusta, Georgia, and Spencer David Nave, III, (Bobbie Gail) Bluff City, Tenn.; four grandchildren – Brianna and Spencer D., IV, Bluff City, Tenn.; James Darrell, Jr. and Juergen “Tom” Nave, Elizabethton, Tenn.; one great-grandson, Jovi Nave and one great-granddaughter, Sarah-Elizabeth “Grace” Britt; three brothers – Anthony P. “Tony” (Kathy) Nave, Elizabethton, Tenn., Tom (Sherry) Nave, Gulfport, Miss., and Ted (Lynda) Simerly, Maryville, Tenn.; one sister – Margaret Nave Hughes, Johnson City, Tenn. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
A service to honor Spencer’s life will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2019, at Hathaway-Percy Funeral and Cremation Services with Pastor Susan Arnold officiating. Following the honor of life service, Dashiell Lodge #238, F. & A.M. will conduct the Masonic Last Rites service.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, prior to the service. Rolling Thunder®, Inc., Tennessee Chapter 4 will stand vigil during visitation hours.
Internment service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at Happy Valley Memorial Park. Everyone will meet at the funeral home at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday with Rolling Thunder®, Inc., Tennessee Chapter 4 leading the procession from the funeral home to the cemetery. Carter County Honor Guard will provide full military honors.
Active Pallbearers will be James Darrell Nave, Jr., Juergen “Tom” Nave, Spencer David Nave, IV, Jamie Shell, JT Stevens, and Todd Turbyfill. Honorary Pallbearers will be Brianna K. Nave, Emaleigh Farris, Josiah Ensor, Terri “Rocky” Skelton, Mike Fair, and Troy Sloan. T
he family would like to express a special thank you to Mountain Home VA Medical Center, Ballad Health Hospice, Sycamore Shoals Hospital (Med-Surg Unit), and Terri “Rocky” Skelton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Rolling Thunder®, Inc., Tennessee Chapter 4, PO Box 220, Mountain Home, TN 37684; Carter County Rescue Squad/EMS, 105 Iodent Way, Elizabethton, TN 37643; or to a charity of one’s choice.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at our website at www.hathawaypercy.com. Hathaway-Percy Funeral and Cremation Services is honored to serve the Nave family. Office: (423) 543-5544.