Mattie Osbourne Spicer was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on her family’s farm. She graduated from Elkin High School in 1938 when she was twenty-one. After graduating, she worked at Rose’s dime store and then at Chatham Manufacturing Company.
In April 1943, Spicer joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. She went to basic training at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, and then to Fort Wright on Fishers Island, New York, where she was in charge of the post office. Spicer was discharged in 1946. After the war she married and was active in the VFW Auxiliary.
Spicer returned home to take care of her sister and her sister’s children. She married Tom Spicer in 1949.