ALBANY — Jack Knighton Spence, 87, of Albany died Monday November 5 at his residence.
Funeral service will be at 11:00 on Saturday November 10, 2012 at Kimbrell-Stern with interment at Crown Hill Cemetery. Family will receive visitors at Kimbrell-Stern from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday November 9, 2012. Rev. Chip Gresham will officiate.
Mr. Spence was born May 2, 1925 in Dawson GA and was of the Baptist faith. He was the son of Bernice Vera Knighton Spence and Jesse Lafate Spence. The family lived in Benevolence, GA at the time of his birth.
Mr. Spence was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Mrs. Hazel Dyes Spence whom also passed on the same date of November 5 three years prior to his death. Two sisters preceded him in death Ms. Agnes Spence Engram and Ms. Mary Spence Gill. Mr. Spence was the only boy and youngest child of 4 sisters, His father died when he was 5 months old and the family struggled as they moved between Benevolence, Dawson and Albany in the late twenties and early thirties.
He continued to attend school and graduated from Albany High School in 1943. After graduation he was employed with Holley and Son floor specialist. He was known for working fast on installation and sanding of hardwood floors, thus he began to acquire the nickname “Speedy”.
In late 1943 he was inducted into the United States Navy and trained at the Great Lakes Naval Tech Center in Illinois. After leaving Great Lakes Navy Pier Chicago he was assigned to Carrier Support Air Transport Squadron Twelve and spent his entire naval years on the west coast and in the Hawaiian Islands as an aviation machinist technician with concentration on electronics. Mr. Spence received the USN Honorable Service Button, USN Service Lapel and Honorable Discharge Emblem.
Mr. Spence married the love of his life on November 22, 1946 in Leesburg, GA. He and his late wife Hazel remained married for 63 years until her death in 2009. After leaving the Navy he continued to use his knowledge of electronics and electrical methods to move on to a job with the City of Albany’s Water, Gas & Light. He later became the chief electrical inspector and was a past chairman of the GA Chapter of the International Assoc. of Electrical Inspectors. When the inspector’s office separated from WG&L he transferred to electrical meter instrumentation and continued working at WG&L until his retirement. While working at WG&L he met his good friend and later business partner Buddy McCorvey and they started a small electrical service company known as J&B Electric that was successful for many years.
Mr. Spence was also an electrician for the start-up of the new Miller Brewing Albany plant and an area repair representative for Southern Alarm. He later closed J&B and separated from Southern Alarm and started on a long second career with Wye-Delta Electric. He ran Wye-Delta’s substation maintenance crew for ten years and finally retired for good.
In his younger years he loved to hunt, fish and go boating, but fishing was tops. He and his close friend Russell Smith maintained a place at Ecofina river fish camp in the early 70’s and he and Russell would make yearly trips to fish the Florida Keys. His favorite sport and hobby later in life was golf. He played golf almost daily with his golfing buddies and played lots of rounds with his son and grandson. He maintained an active green house and garden until a few years ago when his health began to decline. Mr. Spence loved spending time at Lake Blackshear and having his children and grandchildren with him at home and at the lake. He was a past member of BPOE Elks Lodge, Albany Moose Lodge and the Southeastern Seniors Golf Association.
Mr. Spence is survived by his daughter Maria Spence Bower and her husband Tom of Gainesville GA, his son J. Nolan Spence and his wife Regina of Leesburg, GA, Five grandchildren Haley Bower, Caroline Bower and Anna Bower; Kearstin Alston and her husband Blake of Carrollton, GA and Brandon Spence; two surviving sisters, Margaret Stripling of Duluth, GA and Mildred Barbee of Clarksville, TN.
The family would like to thank all who kept Mr. Spence in their thoughts and prayers and especially his two caregivers Trilene Barber and Trinesha Whitehead.
Those desiring may send memorials to Albany Community Hospice 320 Foundation Ln. Albany, GA 31707 or Cure Alzheimer’s Fund 34 Washington St. Suite 300 Wellesley Hills, MA 02481.
You may sign the online guest book and share your own special thoughts with the family of Mr. Spence by visiting Kimbrell-Stern’s website at www.kimbrellstern.com.
Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors