Nancy L. Spensley

Nancy Lou Spensley passed away March 10, 2024, surrounded by her family. She was 82 years old.

According to her wishes a private family celebration of life will be held at a later date. Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, Dubuque, Iowa assisted the family.

Born on July 29, 1941, in Platteville, Wisconsin, Nancy was the daughter of John and Zella Spensley of Elk Grove, Wisconsin. Nancy was a fighter from the beginning. Born with dislocated hips, she wore a body cast and endured years of physical therapy. But this didn’t slow her down, and she was soon tagging along behind her father to help on the family dairy farm. She’d rather be out driving the tractor, rounding up the sows, or baling hay than helping with household chores. She even learned how to shoot a rifle—her marksmanship was something she was proud of. Her family moved to Darlington where she finished high school, but she always considered Belmont her alma mater.

After graduating from school, Nancy married and began a family while farming. Later, she and her family moved to Stoughton, Wisconsin, and purchased a tavern where she loved to play cards and dance. Nancy spent a number of years in Berthoud, Colorado, working for Hewlett Packard before moving back to Wisconsin and eventually to Dubuque, Iowa.

No matter where she lived, her farm roots were apparent in her love for working the soil. She didn’t have fields of crops, but she always had as big a garden as space would allow. Over the years, she traded the rows of vegetables grown to feed her family for a paradise of flowers and the hummingbirds that they attracted. Nancy was creative and could often be found sewing and making art. She was never afraid to take on a construction project around the house and often said she built things like an old farmer: not pretty, but it would last. She was a proud mother and grandmother and loved her family very much, taking every opportunity to gather everyone around the dining table at holidays.

Nancy is survived by her children, Tami (Dan) Bowser—Hollandale, WI, Tina (Gene)Wojtalewicz—Colorado Springs, CO, Robert (Katy) Wethal—Dubuque, IA; her grandchildren, Dillon (Macy), Tayler, Brooke Bowser; Christopher (Teresa), Jessica, Ashley Wojtalewicz; Grace, Alexandra, Julien Wethal; great-grandchild Aiden Wojtalewicz; and sisters, Karen Smith—Gays Mills, WI and Sally (Tom) Fosler—Oregon, WI.

She was preceded in death by her parents John and Zella Spensley; daughter, Carla Ruth Benson, and her brother, Roger Spensley.

Nancy, we will miss your laughter, cheeky humor, and abundance of love. We are grateful you have now found peace.

The family would like to thank Dr. Runde, Dr. Ram, All of the caregivers at Stonehill Care Center, and Hospice of Dubuque.

For online condolences please visit

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