PJS (SPENCER) VALLI 1964-2020
Dr. P. J. Spencer Valli, PhD. aka Spence/Spenny died in his sleep on May 5, 2020 in Guelph, Ontario. He is predeceased by his parents Victor (Ted) and Edith Valli (nee Doran). He will be remembered by many friends in North America and the Netherlands. He will be especially remembered by his sister Dr. Lois Valli and her family (husband Dr. John Longfield, and children Shea and Olivia), by his brother, Robert Valli and his family (wife Elin Gwyn and children Perrin (Keira Hodkinson) and Alexandre and Madeleine) and by his stepmother Carroll Valli. He will also be fondly remembered by his three aunts Gilda Valli, Myrtle Varney and Gladys Sirola and cousin Kathleen Schmaltz.
Spencer was born on January 1st, 1964 in Brooks, Alberta . As a young child growing up in Guelph, he would chat with anyone he met. He brought his gregarious, outgoing, charming personality with him everywhere he lived. Despite disliking school as a child, Spencer turned his talents, amazing memory and bright smile to the academic stream and achieved a Ph D. at the University of Amsterdam in Infectious Diseases, while learning to speak Dutch (not an easy feat). He brought his skills in biochemistry and molecular biology to post doc positions at John Hopkins and University of California, San Diego. He returned to live in Guelph in 2007 after a life-changing brain injury to live close to family.
Spencer will be remembered from his younger days as a cyclist, trumpet player, and windsurfer, and driving around in his blue, 1972 MGB convertible. Spencer had amazing mechanical ability – switching engines for a week and then switching them back. And when his hands weren’t covered in automobile grease he could turn his abilities to sewing awe-inspiring and fancy, evening dresses.
In the last years of his life, due to his physical limitations, Spencer stayed informed on world events and connected via social media where he had many hundreds of followers. Despite his limitations, Spencer was both a friendly and vibrant person. And, unfortunately, someone who was unable to overcome his alcohol addiction and all the associated difficulties.
This week we lost a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a nephew and a friend. We are very grateful to all the people who have befriended and helped Spencer along his life’s journey. We will hold a lasting image of Spencer, picturing him with a coffee cup in his hand, while listening to jazz, and smiling his beguiling smile.