ROCKFORD (WIFR) – We normally don’t cover funerals, however a viewer reached out to us with a very heartfelt letter about an American hero being laid to rest and it was a story we just couldn’t ignore.
WWII Navy veteran Lyle Spencer was given a proper military burial ceremony at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Machesney Park today. The flag resting on his casket was folded and presented to his family in honor of his service.
Spencer served in the boiler room in the USS ST. LO and was on the ship when it was sunk by a Kamikaze pilot during the battle.
He survived and was given a purple heart.
"I think his stories are what I'm going to miss the most because he told stories about the war, old stories about the family, but if you wanted to know about the war, he sure knew about it,” said niece Susan Peterson.
Spencer’s family says the man had no children of his own but took care of his nieces as if they were. His family says Spencer will be sorely missed and remembered as a good, loving, man.
Spencer was 91.