Cover photo for Dorothy Mae (Spencer)  Nebel's Obituary
1920 Dorothy 2020

Dorothy Mae (Spencer) Nebel

October 10, 1920 — June 11, 2020



Dorothy Mae Spencer Nebel

October 10, 1920 ~ June 11, 2020

Dorothy Nebel passed away Thursday, June 11th at Harbour View Assisted Care in Munising, at the age of 99. Her son, Steve was by her side.

Dorothy was born in Grand Marais, Michigan to Edward and Jenni Spencer. Before her senior year in high school they moved to Brown’s Addition in Munising. She graduated from Mather High School in 1938 and soon after, she met Robert Nebel. They married on October 14, 1939 and were together for over 76 years until his death in 2016. Before her marriage, Dorothy had worked for Pictured Rocks Cruises and for the Munising Telephone Company.

Dorothy had always wanted to be a wife and mother and in November of 1941 their first child, Sherm was born. World War II soon broke out and Bob joined the Navy.

After the war, Bob would begin building his contracting business and more children came along in fits and starts: Steve, Shelley, Spence and Shirley. Dorothy raised children from their birth to adulthood for 36 years.

During that time, Bob and Dorothy moved into the home they had built on Moccasin Lake. They were both gracious hosts and the door was always open. She was an excellent cook, and bread maker and it wasn’t unusual for her to have a dozen people around her table. She was the glue that held the extended family close together, hosting “Kissin’ Cousins” parties in the summers and snowmobile parties in the winters. She had numerous friendships, many of which endured for a lifetime.

After it became necessary for them to move back into Munising, Dorothy volunteered as a hospice aide.

Dorothy was one of the original members of a very long-running Bible study group, which had begun in the 1970s and continued into the 2010s. Her unshakeable and steadfast Christian faith has always been a hallmark of her character, and it deeply affected the way she approached her life and the people in it. She lived by the Golden Rule, with a warm heart and an open door.

She truly glowed.

Dorothy is survived by her sons, Stephen Nebel, of Munising, Spencer and his wife, Angela Nebel, of Newport, Oregon, daughters, Shelley Nebel and Shirley Phillips both of Keizer, Oregon, granddaughters, Liz and husband, Mark Beckman of Marquette, Marie and husband, Doug Schwalm of Normal, Illinois, great-grandchildren, Douglas and wife, Chelsea, Jonathon and Laura Beckman and Gabrielle and Robert Schwalm, and daughter-in-law, Marlene Nebel of Anchorage, Alaska. Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband Robert, in 2016, her son, Sherm in 1999, as well as three brothers, Lionel, Ed, and Robert Spencer and two sisters, Gloria Piippo and Susan Pangborn.

The family would like to thank Harbour View Assisted Living and each and every member of the staff for taking such loving care of Dorothy. We’d also like to thank Julie Deisenroth and Northwoods Home Care and Hospice.  Knowing she was in such good hands was a great comfort during this difficult time.

Due to Covid-19, a memorial service will be held at a later date.

Donations in Dorothy's memory may be made to the Sherman Nebel '71 Memorial Scholarship, Northern Michigan University Foundation, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Mae (Spencer) Nebel, please visit our flower store.


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