BROWNSVILLE — There will be no memorial services for Carlisle Tuttle Spencer, Jr. 65, who died at his home of cancer on May 22. Carlisle has donated his body to The Geisel School of Medicine.
Carlisle was born Sept. 29, 1948, in Newburyport, Massachusetts, son of Carlisle T. Spencer, Sr. and Molly Van Wyck Spencer.
He grew up on the salt marsh of Ipswich, Massachusetts. Carlisle attended The Fessenden School, The New Hampton School and graduated from the New Prep School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1968. School was not his cup of tea, but with the help of a strong willed mother he got through it. He received an associate’s degree from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Restaurant Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1990.
Carlisle arrived in Woodstock in 1992. For the last four summers he drove the electric trolley, “Annette,” in Woodstock. On most workdays he would ride his red recumbent tricycle to work. With the first “clang” of the trolley’s bell Carlisle, an overly enthusiastic musician of little talent, knew he had found his instrument. Carlisle always made it a point to stop the trolley at all lemonade stands; one such stop costing over $12 when he treated 10 riders to lemonade and cookies. Carlisle never revealed which was his favorite lemonade stand, but the people who put fresh mint in the cups and offered chilled watermelon know who they are.
After lifting hay bails at Appleton Farms in Ipswich; pouring coffee at the Kings Rook Coffee House; crewing for the yacht Isoletta on St. Thomas; climbing trees for Amalia Tree Surgeons; selling encyclopedias in San Francisco; washing cars on Speedway boulevard in Tucson; cooking for Ambassador and Mrs. Cromwell (his name, her money); terrorizing wait staff as First Chef of the West Chop Club on Martha’s Vineyard; waiting tables and getting a 10 percent tip from the actor who met “Sally,” carrying cinder blocks and mixing mud for a mad mason; banging nails and thumbs while trying carpentry; being the smiling assistant front office manager at the Woodstock Inn; eating chocolate and sweeping floors for Wild Apple Graphics; keeping The Woodstock Health and Fitness Center clean and sparkly; and finally driving a transit bus for Advanced Transit, Carlisle realized what his true quest was. To find the perfect job before he retired. He almost made it.
Carlisle’s deep appreciation of nature was constant. While living in Brownsville he built and maintained a four-mile trail in the woods behind his house, something his away neighbors never knew. Snowshoeing with classic wooden snowshoes, hiking, biking, canoeing, and day lily gardening left barely enough hammock time.
Carlisle is survived by his mother, Molly Spencer and his sister Jane Spencer, both of Brownsville. He is also survived by Henry and Maureen Spencer of Effingham, New Hampshire.
Please make memorial contributions to the Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society. Carlisle has also asked that you stop at all lemonade stands and over pay.
This obituary first appeared in the May 30, 2014 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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