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Longtime journalist Tanya Spencer, known as Tanya Sumner after her marriage, passed away at the age of 53 after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. Spencer worked in journalism for over 20 years, with 10 of those years spent at WRTV as a reporter and news anchor. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in November 2022, leading to emergency surgery. Despite undergoing treatment, the cancer spread due to a genetic mutation, and she ultimately succumbed to the disease.

Throughout her battle with cancer, Spencer became an advocate for health, encouraging others to get regular colonoscopies. After leaving WRTV in 2015, she transitioned to a role in public relations and as a councilwoman in the town of Whitestown, where she also served as Vice President for District 3. Her dedication to her community and her passion for public service were remembered by colleagues and community members who mourned her passing. Whitestown Town Manager Katie Barr described Spencer as a dedicated councilwoman who deeply cared for her family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Spencer’s impact also extended beyond Whitestown to the neighboring town of Zionsville, where she was recognized as a true public servant. The community of Zionsville expressed their condolences and highlighted Spencer’s contributions to both towns. She leaves behind a husband and a teenage son, who are now coping with the loss of a beloved wife and mother. Colleagues and community members remembered Spencer as a dedicated and hardworking individual who made significant contributions to the field of journalism and to public service.

Emmy award-winning anchor Rafael Sánchez paid tribute to Spencer, recognizing her commitment to excellence as a journalist and public servant. He described her as a hardworking individual who valued her privacy. Colleagues and friends were encouraged to send positive thoughts to Spencer’s family during this difficult time. Spencer’s legacy as a journalist and public servant will be remembered by those who had the privilege of knowing and working with her, as well as by the communities she served.

Throughout her career, Spencer worked tirelessly to inform and educate the public through her role as a journalist. Her dedication to health advocacy in the face of her own battle with cancer underscored her commitment to serving others. Spencer’s passing represents a loss not only to her family and friends but also to the communities she served. Her memory lives on through the impact she made in journalism, public service, and health advocacy, leaving a lasting legacy for those who knew her and those who benefited from her work.

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