Major Spencer Travis Johnson of Alexandria, VA, formerly of Brookings, SD, passed away on November 4, 2021, at his home. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Watertown, SD. Pastor Jesse Hurkes will officiate. The service will be Live-streamed via our website. The family is requested to meet at the church by 10:30 a.m. for a family prayer service.
Visitation will be at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel on Monday, November 22, 2021, from 5-7 p.m. and also prior to the service at the church on Tuesday.
Burial will be at the South Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery in Sioux Falls, SD. Military honors will be conducted by the Military Funeral Honors Team of the Army National Guard. Honorary pallbearers will be Tyler Johnson, Lt. Col. Neal Green, Dexter Green, Felix Green, Lt. Col. John Paul Smock, Lt. Col Chet Craw and the 163rd D Bravo Company. Active pallbearers are Elliot McCarter, Jared Miller, Bob Eckert, Mjr. Eric Spalla, and Bryan Thompson.
Spencer was born on September 5, 1976, in Brookings, SD, to Rodney and Marsha Johnson. He graduated from Leavenworth Kansas High School in 1994. He then attended Southwest Texas State University, Central Texas College, SDSU, University of Missouri, University of Texas, DLI and NPS in Monterey, CA and India. Spencer graduated two of the universities with a 4.0 GPA and he achieved one Bachelors Degree, three Masters Degrees and was almost finished with his PHD. He married Brigette Arbogast at Lake Travis, Texas on July 11, 2003.
He decided to join the military later in life to continue the family tradition of life in the Army. He attended basic training at Fort Benning, GA, also OSC at Fort Benning and Fort Huachuca, AZ in Military Intelligence. Spencer was then stationed at Fort Hood, TX. His first deployment to Iraq lasted 15 months with the 89th MP. He received the Bronze Star during this deployment. His second deployment to Iraq was with the 504th 163rd D MI Battalion. He became Company Commander of Bravo Company – go Bandits!! He attended the Captain course in AZ and was switched to FAO in Monterey, CA. There he started his five years of training and learning the Hindi language. Spencer received a Master in NPS then went to India for IRT. After his studies in India he traveled throughout India, starting in New Delhi. He also traveled to Thailand, Bangkok, Beijing, China, Kathmandu Nepal, Sri Lanka, Astana, Kazakhstan and Maldives. In Tampa, FL he worked at Centcom. He then was promoted to Major and was working for the DIA in Washington DC at the time of his death,
In addition to his military career, Spencer was very proud of becoming an Eagle Scout as a youth. He was a lifetime member of the VFW and was a published author of two books and several articles. Spencer loved his books! He also loved music, dancing around the house, traveling, his soldiers, his family and friends and India, but mostly his wife.
Spencer is survived by his wife, Brigette; his parents, BG Rod and Marsha; his sister, Ashley (Lt. Col. Neal) Green; his brother, Tyler (Cy) Johnson; grandparents, Avis and Luther; his nephews, Dexter and Felix Green; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and his extended family on Brigette’s side.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to his wife, Brigette Johnson, so that she can put a tribute together in honor of Major Spencer for the Wounded Warrior Project. 2116 Ave Avenue, Brookings, SD 57006
Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel www.crawfordosthus.com
Watertown, Hayti, De Smet, Bryant
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