Jay Barton Spencer, head of electronic resources for The University of Southern Mississippi University Libraries, died Saturday, Feb. 12 at his home in Hattiesburg. He was 45.
Funeral services for Spencer will be Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, located at 4901 Hardy St., with burial to follow at Highland Cemetery in Hattiesburg. A visitation will be held Tuesday, Feb. 15 from 5-7 p.m. at Moore Funeral Home in Hattiesburg, located at 805 Hardy St.
A native of Starkville, Miss., Spencer earned an undergraduate degree from Southern Miss and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas. He joined the Southern Miss University Libraries staff in 1996.
“Barton contributed much to the success of University Libraries in a variety of ways during his career here, and we are grateful for his service. He will be sadly missed by many,” said Dr. Carole Kiehl, dean of University Libraries.
As an undergraduate at Southern Miss, he worked as a news and sports photographer for the student newspaper, The Student Printz. He was also a student worker in the microforms and reference departments at Cook Library, before joining the library staff full-time.
He was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg, enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and sharing his love of music and photography.
“Barton was one of the most decent, optimistic people I’ve ever met. He was a great colleague and one of those go-to kinds of people whom you could depend on if you needed help with anything.” said Paul McCarver, senior information services librarian for University Libraries.
“It’s a really tough loss for the University Libraries family. It’s hard to imagine him not being here, but I and many others here and across the university are grateful to have known him and worked with him,” McCarver said. “We’re keeping him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Spencer is survived by his wife, Sarah Armstrong Spencer; a daughter, Sarah Price Spencer; a son, John Barton Spencer, all of Hattiesburg; his father, James A. Spencer of Bentonville, Ark.; his mother, Barbara Good of Cherokee, N.C.; a grandmother, Edna Good of Commerce, Texas; a brother, Tim Spencer and his wife Judy of Bentonville, Ark; a sister Jeannie Alexander and her husband Tom of Cordova, Tenn.; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, the Spencer family requests memorials be sent to First Presbyterian Church of Hattiesburg; Presbyterian Christian School in Hattiesburg; or the Starkville Church of Christ.