Steve H. Spencer

Philadelphia, PA

Steve Spencer died tragically on June 3, 2020, when a large tree fell on the car that he was driving. He was born on March 22, 1953 in Manhattan, New York, to Elliot and Helen Spencer. Steve grew up in Jericho, New York, the second of four brothers, and graduated from Jericho High School in 1971. He then attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he earned a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations in 1975. Steve was a Charter Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

Upon leaving Cornell, Steve pursued a legal education at Columbia University. True to his lifelong emphasis on the importance of family, he lived with his grandparents and later with his uncle during his law school years. Steve moved to Philadelphia in 1978 to begin his legal career at Morgan Lewis. He initially practiced in Morgan’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, and subsequently moved to Morgan’s Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation practice, where he became a nationally recognized expert in the field. Steve was a Charter Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

Steve was a mentor to many lawyers in both the Labor and Employment practice and in the Employee Benefits practice, serving for nearly 20 years in the latter, first as Deputy and then as Practice Group Leader. He retired in 2018 having spent his entire 40-year career at Morgan Lewis. Steve loved mentoring young and aspiring lawyers. He was a longtime adjunct professor at both The University of Pennsylvania Law School and Villanova Law School. Following his retirement in 2018, Steve became an adjunct faculty member at his beloved Cornell University, teaching courses in both the Law School and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Although brief, Steve considered his time teaching at Cornell to be a highlight of his professional career.

Steve had a strong belief in the importance of community service and dedicated much of his free time to helping others. Steve served as head coach of the Lower Merion Soccer Club’s Special Needs Soccer Team for over 10 years. He was also a member of the Valley Forge Special Education Corporation Board of Directors and Chair of the Board of the Vanguard School. In recent years, he was the Chair of the Board of Achieve Now, an organization dedicated to increasing children’s literacy in Philadelphia, as well as an active volunteer with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia. But above all, Steve was dedicated to his family. Whenever anyone in the family needed anything, he was there.

He loved sailing and mountain biking with his family at Lake Naomi, restoring old homes, and repairing whatever his sons broke. He was always on the sidelines or in the audience for his sons’ sporting and musical endeavors. His infectious sense of humor made him the life of many a family gathering. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Lynne, sons Ryan and Chris, and brothers Scott and Brad. He was predeceased by his brother Jonathan and his parents Elliot and Helen Spencer.