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Anna P. "Doll" Spencer
January 11, 1946 – February 23, 2006
Words: 426

As often happens when people are born and raised “down south”, few people know their real names. Not even their relatives. That was the case with “Doll”. Since January 11, 1946, the day she was born “pretty as a baby doll,” Anna P. (Sims) Spencer has simply been called “Doll”.

Until her death last Thursday (February 23, 2006), Doll’s greatest joy was spending time with her family. And it was their greatest joy to spend time with her. “It just wasn’t a party until Doll showed up,” said Ira, one of her many nieces. “Heck, it didn’t even have to be a party; when Doll got there, she made it a party.” Have shoes, will travel, was her motto, so she never missed an opportunity to be with family: Son Cowasiky’s wedding, where everybody danced with everybody; niece Brenda’s surprise birthday party in St. Louis; Thanksgivings and Christmases in the Missouri Bootheel with her sister “Shirley” (whose real name is Fannie) where sometimes there are still mosquitoes in November.

She often went back to the Bootheel because that was “home”. Willie Jackson’s and Early Mae Sims’s “Baby Doll” was born in the Bootheel town of Pascola and lived there with her younger brother Jamal and older sister Shirley until she graduated from high school in 1964.  After graduation, she set off to Fort Wayne, Indiana. There she married Bennie Spencer and raised four children.

She left the country, but the country never left her. She kept the southern values that said you revere God, work hard, share what you have and enjoy the company of others. As a wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend and member of the Order of Eastern Star, she did all of that.

With the loss of her parents and a brother, W.L. Sims, Doll knew great sadness. Now those she has left behind know that same sorrow. She will be missed by her children, Ben L. Spencer, Jossette Spencer, Addones Spencer and Cowasiky (Aimee) Spencer, all of Fort Wayne; one sister, Fannie West, of Hayti, Missouri; one brother, Jamal Sims of Coalinga, California; a sister-in-law, Florence “Cookie” Kellogg of Fort Wayne; two brothers-in-law, Woodrow “Wood” Spencer and Alonzo Spencer, both of Fort Wayne; her Aunt Ruth Sims of Gary, Indiana; one uncle, Mon T. Grays of Wardell, Missouri; a “special” daughter, Jaymie Cornish of Fort Wayne; and 11 grandchildren, along with many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

Doll is watching the mourning and saying, “What the hell is everybody crying about! I’m fine and y’all better shut up!”

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