Spencer, Ada Belle, 1905-1986
Ada Belle Files was born in Fort Scott, Kansas on 12 January 1905 to Benjamin and Ada Dennis Files. Ada Belle was educated at Fort Scott High School, Lindenwood College, Chicago Musical College, and Cincinnati College of Music, and pursued a career in music as a contralto of critical acclaim. She performed with several organizations and opera companies, and in many United States cities including the San Carlo Opera Company in Kansas City, Missouri, at Kimball Hall, the Cordon Club, and with the Chicago Opera Orchestra in Chicago, Illinois, and at Town Hall in New York, New York. She also toured the United States, coast to coast, with the Philadelphia La Scala Opera Company in the 1940's. Her talent ultimately earned her the offer of a position with the Metropolitan Opera, but she declined. Ms. Files married John Galen Spencer on 21 September 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri, and the couple moved to Denver, Colorado in 1951. The couple adopted their only son, John Benjamin Spencer, and Ada Belle continued her love and support of music by participating in the Central City Opera, the Denver Lyric Opera Guild, and the Mu Phi Epsilon professional music sorority. She also served as a national council member of the Metropolitan Opera Rocky Mountain District. In 1982, Ada Belle incorporated the Galen and Ada Belle Spencer Foundation to foster efforts that support athletes, performing artists, and other organizations in the Colorado community. The foundation provided support to the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music. Ada Belle died on 5 August 1986.