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Dartmouth Funeral Home

230 Russells Mills Road, South Dartmouth, MA

OBITUARY

Thomas Spence, Jr.

March 21, 1927January 18, 2020
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Retired New Bedford District Fire Chief Thomas Spence, Jr., 92, of Dartmouth and formerly of New Bedford passed away Saturday, January 18, 2020 in the New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home. He was the husband of the late Lillian “Lil” (Cooke) Spence.

Born in Fall River, a son of Thomas and Erna Marie (Jurs) Spence he grew up in the Southend of New Bedford before moving to Dartmouth in 1970. He was an active member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church serving as a greeter and member of the Vestry. Mr. Spence graduated from the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational High School. He then went on to serve in the United States Navy during World War II.

He was a third degree Mason at the Paskamansett Lodge AF &AM, a member of the YMCA, a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters and a member of the Washington Club.

In 1988, he retired as a District Fire Chief after spending 37 years on the New Bedford Fire Department. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family sharing meals and holidays together. After the passing of his wife, he spent the next ten years with his close friends at Dunkin’ Donuts every morning and afternoon. He also enjoyed spending time at the Dartmouth Council on Aging, watching New England sports on TV, jazz music, and movies especially old westerns.

He is survived by two daughters, Carolyn A. Burnham and her husband Chuck of S. Dartmouth, Lori A. Spence of Walpole; a son, Thomas Spence, III and his wife Cynthia of S. Dartmouth; four grandchildren, Cheryl A. Spillane of Kingston, Jessica L. Melching of Needham, Alyson B. Gangi of Dartmouth and Mark T. Spence of NJ; eight great grandchildren, Patrick and Matthew Spillane, William and Lillian Gangi, Cara, Libby and Morgan Spence, and Paige Melching; his companion Janis Smith; and several nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Ernest and Erna Spence and Karen Morrow.

His funeral will be Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 10 a.m. in St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, County St., New Bedford. Burial will follow in Rural Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday 4-7 p.m. at the WARING-SULLIVAN HOME at DARTMOUTH. Donations in his memory may be made to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 136 Rivet St., New Bedford, MA 02744 or the Dartmouth Council on Aging, 628 Dartmouth St., Dartmouth, MA 02748. For online tribute/directions www.waring-sullivan.com.

  • DONATIONS

  • St. Martin's Episcopal Church
  • Dartmouth Council on Aging

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, January 22, 2020
  • Funeral Service Thursday, January 23, 2020
  • Burial Thursday, January 23, 2020

Memories

Thomas Spence, Jr.

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Deb Ducharme

January 24, 2020

Dear Cyndy and Tom,
So sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers . Your dad was such a sweet man.
Love Deb & Marc

Ronald LaBrode

January 21, 2020

Carolyn,My wife and I would like to express our deepest sympathies on the loss of your dad,he was a wonderful man whom I had the pleasure of meeting and very much enjoyed the conversations we had together and I will miss him very much and will never forget him.God Bless.

Charlie Amaral

January 21, 2020

Spence was my first partner when I joined the New Bedford Fire Dept. in 1956. He became a good friend of mine and my family with many good times all together.
Charlie and Irene Amaral
Fremont, Ca.

Ed Silva

January 21, 2020

Our sincere sympathies are with your family at this time
Ed and Cindy Silva

Janice Latham

January 21, 2020

Will miss your smile.
Love, Janice

Raymond Ferreira

January 20, 2020

I worked with Dist. Chief Spence, when I was a Lieutenant on NBFD Ladder-3. To Tom's family and friends I offer my prayers and deepest sympathy. Rest in Peace.

Kim Perry

January 20, 2020

Keeping everyone in our thoughts and prayers.
xoxo
Kim and Skip Perry

Mike & Charlene Hochman

January 18, 2020

❤️

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Biography

Retired New Bedford District Fire Chief Thomas Spence, Jr., 92, of Dartmouth and formerly of New Bedford passed away Saturday, January 18, 2020 in the New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home. He was the husband of the late Lillian “Lil” (Cooke) Spence.

Born in Fall River, a son of Thomas and Erna Marie (Jurs) Spence he grew up in the Southend of New Bedford before moving to Dartmouth in 1970. He was an active member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church serving as a greeter and member of the Vestry.

Mr. Spence graduated from the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational High School. He then went on to serve in the United States Navy during World War II.

He was a third degree Mason at the Paskamansett Lodge AF &AM, a member of the YMCA, a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters and a member of the Washington Club.

In 1988, he retired as a District Fire Chief after spending 37 years on the New Bedford Fire Department. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family sharing meals and holidays together. After the passing of his wife, he spent the next ten years with his close friends at Dunkin’ Donuts every morning and afternoon. He also enjoyed spending time at the Dartmouth Council on Aging, watching New England sports on TV, jazz music, and movies especially old westerns.

He is survived by two daughters, Carolyn A. Burnham and her husband Chuck of S. Dartmouth, Lori A. Spence of Walpole; a son, Thomas Spence, III and his wife Cynthia of S. Dartmouth; four grandchildren, Cheryl A. Spillane of Kingston, Jessica L. Melching of Needham, Alyson B. Gangi of Dartmouth and Mark T. Spence of NJ; eight great grandchildren, Patrick and Matthew Spillane, William and Lillian Gangi, Cara, Libby and Morgan Spence, and Paige Melching; his companion Janis Smith; and several nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Ernest and Erna Spence and Karen Morrow.

His funeral will be Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 10 a.m. in St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, County St., New Bedford. Burial will follow in Rural Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday 4-7 p.m. at the WARING-SULLIVAN HOME at DARTMOUTH. Donations in his memory may be made to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 136 Rivet St., New Bedford, MA 02744 or the Dartmouth Council on Aging, 628 Dartmouth St., Dartmouth, MA 02748. For online tribute/directions www.waring-sullivan.com.