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Margaret Spencer Hernandez

margaret hernandez

September 30, 1937 ~ March 31, 2022

Margaret Anne “Marge”  Spencer Hernandez passed away peacefully on March 31, 2022.  She spent her last weeks surrounded by her loving family. 

Marge was born in Norfolk, VA to parents Warner Tyler Spencer and Margaret Thornton Spencer.

A devoted Navy wife, Marge supported and encouraged her husband in his 36 year career.  Together the coupled raised two children and made 27 moves throughout the country and world.

Raised in Norfolk, VA., Marge graduated from Granby High School and then attended the University of Richmond, graduating with a BA degree in English Literature.  While attending UR she met and dated her future husband who was attending the U. S. Naval Academy.   Marge was selected to be the USNA Class of 1958 Color Girl which she accomplished with grace and beauty.  In addition to her BA degree Marge later graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW).  Marge had a brilliant intellect and had a way of making everyone with whom she interacted feel seen, heard, and loved.  A strong Christian with a deep faith, she was a good friend to many.  She loved spending happy times with friends in the Washington/Tokyo Woman’s Club.

Marge worked and volunteered as a social worker for 38 years.  She spent many years as a volunteer with the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society working at bases throughout the world.  She also served on the Board of Directors.  Marge was proud of her volunteer membership in the Navy Arlington Ladies.  These ladies attend all Navy funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.  She was a plank owner, being a member when the organization was founded.

A wonderful listener and writer, Marge served as a Deacon at Heritage Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, Virginia.  She loved writing a monthly article called “Smelling the Roses” for the church newsletter.

Marge leaves a lasting legacy that is cherished by her extensive family including her husband of 63 years, RAdm Jesse J. Hernandez, USN (Ret),  and their children Brian Stephen Hernandez (Susan) of Haymarket, VA and Susan Elizabeth Lonergan (Steve) of Clifton, VA;  beloved grandchildren Victoria and Alexandra Hernandez and Sean and Ethan Lonergan.  Marge is also survived by her sister Nancy Whitlock (Robert) of Dallas, Texas and sister-in-law Pearl Johnston (Larry) of San Leandro, California. 

Marge will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate Marge’s life at 2 PM on April 23rd at Heritage Presbyterian Church (HPC), 8303 Ft. Hunt Rd., Alexandria, VA.  The service can also be viewed on line at  . In lieu of flowers a memorial donation may be made to HPC or to the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society.  On the memo line please write In Memory of Margaret Hernandez. 

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Memories Timeline


  1. Cousin Margaret Im grateful God blessed me with the opportunity to meet you at my Aunt Helens funeralan opportunity Im sure both God and Helen arranged 🙂 You understood I was the next person in line keeper of the keys to record our family history. Your knowledge and help were priceless.

    I remember all the times I learned about our famous Thornton ancestor. What great pride you took in my finding, never missing an opportunity to encourage and loving meeven outside of genealogy. I didnt know you were mighty with the old pen as well. Looks like literary muscles in our family are prominent 😉

    My dad, godbless his soul, was proud of you for embracing me in every possible way. I feel this.

    I love you with all my heart and soul. Nancy, you know Im always here for you. Jesse, Im definitely here for you. Rest of the family Im always here with love and support.

    Finally, my favorite memory of Margaret is actually a saying she invented. See, I was blessed to meet her mother (we still laugh about the cake). She knew a lot about many things. When I first met her I told her everything I heard. Margaret smiles, hugs me, and laughs, My reputation proceeds me.

  2. Dear Jesse and family, I know the loss you must be feeling. You cannot explain it to anyone unless they have experienced it themselves. We were both blessed to have such loving, caring partners for so many years. They were our best friends and truly our soul mates. The 58ers are forming above us and what a wonderful reunion it will be!! God bless you and your family. Sincerely, Barbara Polski

  3. Marge was a special friend. We had WTWC in common but friendship outside the club. I’ll always remember our last lunch together on 9/22/21 as she was preparing for her next round of treatments – optimistic as always.

  4. Dear Jesse and family,
    I was saddened to see Marges passing recently in the paper, I have so many fond childhood memories when we were neighbors in Town Creek. And I can never forget when I returned home with wrong car, Dad was in Dahlgren, so Mom called you Jesse , of course, you came to Moms aid! That story was repeated on my birthday every year by Mom, somewhat embarrassing when I had friends with me, but I and others still laugh about it! My heart goes out to you and your family at this time of grief, with much sympathy.
    Steve Fadeley

  5. Marge made a difference in the lives of service members, their families, and other volunteers. Her compassion was legendary. She was a fierce advocate for all she came in contact with. Jer smile lit up the room. Her warmth & generosity will always be remembered. May her memory be eternal. What a blessing she was.

  6. Marge San was a cherished friend. I was so lucky to meet her and call her friend. She was so kind, sweet, gracious and fun to be with. We shared many stories. I will miss her friendship and our long chats. Keeping the Hernandez family in my prayers. I love you Marge San ️

  7. Marge-san brought tremendous joy to me and many members of our Washington Tokyo Women’s Club. She was a Chair of WTWC ‘Movies & Lunch’ during the pandemic, and she supported making possible holding it on Zoom in 2020-2021. The pandemic was a vital time for friends to meet. Marge will always be fondly remembered for her smile, sincerity, and support for all that she did.
    With thoughts and prayers for Marge and all her family,
    —Jeanne Takahashi

  8. Jess, it has been close to 35 years plus since your days at Moffet Field. I had fun meeting you and Marge, giving you 49er tickets and chocolate. Good memories never fade away. I loved you both so much. Even if you do not remember me, I will always remember you both. I found Marges obituary and wanted to write. Both of you brought much fun into my life. God Bless you Admiral Jess

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  10. I just stumbled on this notice and am very touched by reading it. Marge was such a lovely lady and a sweet gracious friend–though our friendship was a long, long time ago at Moffett Field, CA. I’m very thankful for the influence of Jesse and Marge in my family and for the memories of our time with your family.

  11. I stumbled on this notice and am so touched by reading it. Marge was such a lovely lady and a sweet gracious friend–though our friendship was a long, long time ago at Moffett Field, CA. I’m very thankful for the influence of Jesse and Marge in my family and for the memories of our time with your family.

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  15. 06/05/2024
    I received the May/June Shipmate yesterday and saw the memorandum to Marge that your children had included in it. I was very sad that I only learned of your loss yesterday. You and Marge were so prompt in calling me after losing Larry. There are some friendships that are very special. I came across this site today and hope that you will find my message of condolence for you. My prayers are with you.

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