By Jim Meridith
Posted: Updated:
  • Visitation

    Saturday, March 23, 2024
    Oak Valley Free Will Baptist church

    Sunday at 1:00pm till service time

  • Service

    Sunday, March 24, 2024
    Oak Valley Free will Baptist Church

    Burial: Oak Valley Cemetery

  • Full Obituary

    Spencer Thomas Meagher, 63, of Mount Vernon, Passes Away; Beloved Artist and Pastor

    Spencer Thomas Meagher, 63, of Mount Vernon, passed away after battling cancer on Friday, March 15, 2024, at his home with his family by his side.

    He was a professional artist, specializing in plein air-style painting. In addition to his art career, Spencer served as a Baptist minister of various local churches for nearly twenty years. He also worked as a laborer and designer for Airtex Products in Fairfield, IL for nearly thirty years.

    Service Sunday

    Funeral and visitation services will be held at Oak Valley Free Will Baptist Church located west of Geff, IL. Visitation will be held Saturday, March 23rd starting at 5:00pm, and again on Sunday, March 24th from 1:00pm until the 2:00pm funeral service at the church. Burial will be in Oak Valley Cemetery.

    Spencer was born January 25th, 1961, in Las Vegas, Nevada, to Thomas and Phyllis (Brow) Meagher. He married Cindy (Byars) on March 11th, 1983, at Oak Valley Church in Geff, IL.

    Spencer Meagher, a loving husband of 41 years, father, grandfather, pastor, Sunday school teacher at Summersville Missionary Baptist church, artist, and friend, left his mark on the world and will be remembered as a man of deep faith. Spencer's passion for art and painting will continue to be enjoyed by many. An award-winning artist, he reveled in the challenge of capturing the unseen beauty in common places. Spencer’s work has taken top awards in art competitions around the country and has been exhibited in many notable galleries. He was a member of Heartland Art Club, Missouri Valley Impressionist Society, National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society, American Impressionist Society, Outdoor Painters Society and Saint Louis Watercolor Society. Spencer’s furry best friend, Poco, was always by his side, a loyal companion on his artistic journeys and travels. Together with his wife, he enjoyed many adventures, always seeking inspiration for his next masterpiece. Spencer Meagher's legacy is one of love, faith, and creativity. He will be remembered for his dedication to his family, his contributions to the art community, and the joy he found in every brushstroke.

    The Survivors

    Spencer is survived by his wife of forty-one years, Cindy Meagher; children, Kelly (Cody) Pratt, O’Fallon, IL; Jay (Erik) Meagher-Rigdon, Aitkin, MN; Joe (Sydney) Meagher, Geff, IL; grandchildren, Henry and Lincoln Pratt; siblings, Ginny (Don) Barrett, Cisne, IL; Norm (Lela) Meagher, Bluffton, SC; Greg (Robyn) Meagher, Monroe, NC. He is also survived by many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, and nieces.

    Preceding him in death were his parents, Thomas, and Phyllis Meagher; mother and father-in-law Glen Dale and Shirley Byars.

    Donations may be made to the Spencer Meagher Memorial Fund. All funds will go towards celebrating local artists and backing the art groups and organizations that were dear to Spencer.

    Donations to the Spencer Meagher Memorial Fund can be made through the Hosselton-Meredith Funeral Home or the day of the services at Oak Valley Church.

    Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at

Condolences are reviewed and published within 24 hours.

24 Condolences
  1. Nancy Merity / March 17, 2024 at 6:04 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Spencer was a wonderful man. I met him when we worked at Airtex. Then I purchased two paintings from him, one was the old mill in Burnt Prairie. I am from Burnt Prairie and knew how it used to look. My thoughts and prayers are with Cindy and the family.

  2. Gil Adams / March 17, 2024 at 7:05 am

    I wish to convey my deepest sympathy to Spencer’s family. Hopefully, time will help heal the sadness and grief. I count myself privileged to have known Spencer. His God-given talent was amazing and he left behind a wonderful legacy.

  3. Dave & Deb Grahn / March 17, 2024 at 7:21 am

    So very sorry for your loss! May God comfort you during this most difficult time!
    God blessed him with such a special talent.

  4. PegRiceKenyon / March 17, 2024 at 10:10 am

    Such a brave guy he was~sharing as he traveled this journey~~

  5. Leslie Hoops-Wallace / March 17, 2024 at 10:52 am

    Spencer will be missed by all, he was a sweet soul. He came to my gallery to do a watercolor workshop, and we became facebook friends after that. He was an aweso.e artist. God recieved a great one!

  6. Lynn Rix / March 17, 2024 at 11:23 am

    I did not know Spencer well , but what I do know is that he was a gentle , creative and unassuming man . I first met him at the winter Mineral Point plein air competition . We were alll rooming at the very funky Walker (?). House . I then ran into him a few more times on the plein air circuit . His art and reputation began to soar !! But he remained humble . Kind of a rarity in “ celebrities”. . I extend my deepest condolences to his family . I recently lost my husband and also battled cancer . So it is with a voice of experience that I strongly recommend you find one minute of JOY everyday! Happy memories , taking a walk , looking at a sunset ….
    As a friend of mine told me “ an artist leaves a body of work that is full of the artist’s creativity and energy and love “. You are surrounded by that love .

  7. Julie Vickers / March 17, 2024 at 1:39 pm

    We met Spencer first at an art fair in Mt. Vernon IL in 2011. He was so friendly and pleasant to talk with. He enjoyed meeting people. We then connected and followed him on Facebook. Then twice we met him again in Galveston Texas when he was at a plein air painting event there. He remembered us and we had a great visit. Now we were friends and met Cindy too. We’ve been following his posts on Facebook. He inspired many with his faith and authenticity of his health concerns. He glorified God with his life. His legacy will live on in his family, his paintings, his teaching others, and his faith.
    Julie & David Vickers

  8. Marty Walsh / March 17, 2024 at 1:42 pm

    Spencer started me on my watercolor journey years ago. His enthusiasm for painting was contagious and I marvel at the simplicity and beauty of his artwork. He was a wonderful art instructor, loyal work colleague and a genuine friend. His courage and faith as he faced his final trials were inspirational and served as a constant reminder of how precious life is. He will be missed.

  9. Mary Drastal / March 18, 2024 at 1:49 pm

    I learned so much from Spencer over the years as an artist. He was exceptional painter in watercolor and oil. He was a wonderful teacher and mentor. But I learned the most from Spencer about how to conduct my life. Heartland Gallery is so honored to have hung his work over the years. He was a friend to all and a helpful guide through life. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
    Mary Drastal
    St Louis

  10. Marilyn (Shehorn) Tarbutton / March 18, 2024 at 5:38 pm

    To Cindy and Family: So sorry to hear that your Loved one has passed away. I am Marilyn (Shehorn) Tarbutton originally from north of Keenes 8 miles. I knew the Byars family and even dated Bill a couple of times before moving from Illinois to Nevada. May God bless each one of you and give you a lot of comfort and peace at this time. I know that all of you will miss him but remember all the good times you had with him over the years as the memories are so precious. We know that he was called home by his Heavenly Father and was welcomed by loved ones and friends that have gone on before him what a reunion that must have been. With my deepest sympathy and lots of love. Love and blessings Marilyn

  11. John and Darlene Hosselton / March 18, 2024 at 5:38 pm

    Cindy and Family,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Spencer was a very nice and kind individual with a special talent. May God comfort you with your precious memories.

  12. Gary Nadeau / March 18, 2024 at 9:19 pm

    I consider myself blessed to have painted with Spencer and privileged to have purchased one of his watercolors. His work was truly amazing which matched his wonderful character. Please accept my deepest sympathy and condolences.

  13. Sherry wolfe / March 19, 2024 at 3:24 pm

    We are very sorry for your loss. Spencer had a gentle soul. I was so glad that our daughter Maddie experienced one of his art classes. It inspired her and to this day, she still paints. May you always rely on those sweet memories you two had together!!
    God Bless.

  14. Patti Farrell / March 19, 2024 at 5:25 pm

    I met Spencer a few years after my husband and I bought our farmstead in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. He spent a day here painting with other plein air artists. He was a lovely and kind hearted fella. He drove with a second artist and they stayed until sunset. Painting. And painting.

    The other artist was getting insight and suggestions on the light changes and how they affected the reception of the entire design. He took his time. Helping. Gently guiding. Talking about fishing. The smile never left his face.

    I wound up buying that other fella’s painting and, later, a couple of Spencer’s. They will now remind me of a grand day spent and a lovely man’s grace.

    And peace.

  15. Bev Rightnowar / March 19, 2024 at 8:32 pm

    Cindy and Family,
    I consider myself lucky to own a watercolor that Spencer painted of my mother-in-law’s house in Mt.Vernon. He was a quiet talented man who loved God and his family. He had such a talent and shared it with many. I’ve known him for years and feel lucky to have met him.

  16. Sara Nephew / March 20, 2024 at 10:39 am

    The staff at White Bear Center for the Arts in Minnesota extend our deepest condolences to Spencer’s family during this difficult time. Spencer’s kindness and dedication enriched our community when he judged our Into Nature plein air competition. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  17. Chandan Mahanta / March 20, 2024 at 10:50 am

    I did not know Spencer, but knew of his work. My deepest condolences! RIP.

  18. Kent and Gloria Waller / March 21, 2024 at 6:18 am

    So sorry to hear of his passing. I have so many good memories of working with him in church camp as well as at Oak Valley. Can’t be sad for Spencer though. I have no doubt that he is with the Lord today, and his cancer is cured. Our prayers are with Cindy and the rest of the family.

  19. Kathy Cozart / March 21, 2024 at 10:17 am

    Cindy and family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. May God be close and give you comfort during this difficult time.
    Blessings, Kathy Cozart

  20. Shawn Cornell / March 22, 2024 at 9:25 am

    Spencer was always so surprised when one of his painting won an award. He shouldn’t have been because his watercolors would instill inspiration into a cabbage plant and warm glory into a sunset. A friend of humble manners and infectious humor (a tease followed by a big smile) is how he resides in my memories. Not being able to paint anymore sunsets with Spencer is painful, though comfort comes from knowing that he has become part of every sunrise.

    Sincerely and with deepest sympathy,
    Shawn Cornell

  21. Mary Cameron / March 25, 2024 at 10:30 am

    I met Spencer when I attended his classes at the Grand Marais Art Colony in MN. He was a wonderful teacher, kind and nurturing. Even more, he was a good person. The world needs more Spencer Meaghers. My sympathy to his family.

    Mary Humphrey Cameron

  22. Lawrence Davignon / March 27, 2024 at 1:11 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I wish that I could have known Spencer. I followed his work on Facebook. He was a great and inspiring artist and he will be missed by all. My sympathy to all of his friends and family.

    Larry Davignon

  23. Gresia Eliona / March 29, 2024 at 9:19 am

    I was deeply sad to hear about Mr. Spencer Meagher’s passing.
    Mr Spencer and Mrs Cindy Meagher were my foster parents. We met and communicate via letter through Compassion International program when I’m still in Elementary School.
    Know that my prayers are with Mrs. Cindy, Jay, Joe and Kelly, wishing you all strength.

  24. Lin Elizondo / April 5, 2024 at 7:27 pm

    I met Spencer at the Grand Marais Art Colony in far northern Minnesota a good 6 or so years ago. (I met you too Cindy in Grand Marais) What a wonderful teacher, always patient, always wore a warm smile. We even enjoyed lunch together at the little Dairy Queen before going back to class. Painting was in his soul and he just had to share with so many students through the years on how to paint. I have three paintings done by Spencer, which I cherish evermore. I can hear his voice when I look at my paintings where he would teach so many techniques. I will miss him dearly and our wonderful e-mails through the years. Cindy, and family, I’m so deeply sorry for your loss. I’m so glad he isn’t suffering anymore and now he can paint the heavens. What a beautiful person.
    Lin Elizondo

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