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Columbia Missourian

Local farmer, veteran Leslie "Spencer" Wegener dies at 86

By Benita Brown
September 26, 2012 | 8:39 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Leslie "Spencer" Wegener was a man who didn't have to be asked twice to do something, said his friend, Virgil Gardner. 

"Without saying anything to him, Leslie would help around the church or around the community," Gardner said. 


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Leslie "Spencer" Wegener of Columbia died Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. He was 86.

Wegener was born on April 17, 1926, in Columbia to Leslie Harrison and Mary Powell Wegener.

He attended Hickman High School where he graduated in 1943. In the fall of the same year, Wegener was drafted into the Army during World War II and was sent to the Philippines to serve with the 32nd Infantry on Luzon Island. He returned to Columbia by way of Japan after the war ended. 

"Leslie would say that not a lot men came back from Japan," Gardner said. "He said he was lucky to come back."

After returning, Wegener attended MU and graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture, with an emphasis in soils. After graduation, Wegener began his farming career with his father and then with two partners. He would spend hours working on his farm and was passionate about soil conservation. 

He married Shirley Semon on Aug. 1, 1953.

Wegener was also an active member of the Woodlandville United Methodist Church. He taught Sunday school there for about 20 years.

He served on the Midway School Board, the Boone County Farm Service Agency Board and the Callahan Creek Watershed Board.

"Leslie was very faithful to the church and supportive of his family," the church's pastor Karen Alden said.

"I always say the quote, 'The Bible is just another book unless you apply it to your life,'" she said. "I really think he applied it to his."

Wegener is survived by his wife of 59 years, Shirley Wegener; two sons, Leslie Alan Wegener and his wife, Colleen, and William "Bill" Spencer Wegener; and three grandchildren, Duane Spencer Wegener, Carl Harrison Wegener and Holly May Wegener.

His sister Leah Couick of Boonville and a daughter-in-law Beverly Wegener of Midway died earlier.

Visitation will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will follow at 3:30 p.m. 

Memorial contributions  can be sent to Woodlandville United Methodist Church, in care of Lisa Scott, 5701 W. Wilhite Road, Columbia MO 65202.

Tributes can be posted at