Christopher George Spence
March 17, 1956 – December 18, 2018
Christopher George Spence, 62, died December 18, 2018, in Georgetown, Texas. The youngest child of George Baugh Spence and Sarah (Sally) Bush Spence, Chris was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and graduated high school in Berea, a suburb of Cleveland. Though not born in Texas, as his father was completing his M.S. and PhD. in Physics at the University of Michigan, Chris’s roots in Texas go back multiple generations, and he rushed back as soon as he finished high school. Chris attended West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M), where he got his bachelors and met his future wife Tomi Longtin. They were both very involved in the TEXAS Outdoor Musical (currently in its 53rd season) at the Pioneer Amphitheater in the Palo Duro Canyon. The play famously begins with a Lone Horseman carrying the Texas flag while galloping along the rim of the 600ft cliff that serves as the backdrop to the amphitheater. For a few seasons Chris was that Lone Horseman, not surprising as he learned to ride on the family ranch in West Texas. After marrying Tomi on August 17, 1975, they eventually moved to Denton, Texas, where Chris completed his M.S. in Applied Gerontology at the University of North Texas. While there, they gave birth to their only child, David Reese Spence. Life briefly brought them to Georgetown, Texas where Chris served as an Assistant Administrator at the non-profit, Methodist-based nursing and retirement community Wesleyan Homes. Chris then took an Executive Administrator and CEO position at Sears Memorial Methodist Center in Abilene, Texas, before returning to the Wesleyan in Georgetown in late 1989. He retired as President and CEO after 28 years, guiding the Wesleyan through the decades, expanding to include pioneering Alzheimer’s care and a state-of-the-art new campus for Retirement and Assisted Living, and bringing in new community ministries for Home Health and for Hospice care. His distinguished career was defined by service to an elder population increasingly underserved nationwide. His accomplishments and accolades demonstrate the positive impact he had on his peers, his profession, and most importantly to the vulnerable elderly community. He also devoted his time and talents to the United Methodist Church, both locally at St. John’s in Georgetown, and to the Central Texas Conference. He retired early at the end of 2017 after a sudden cancer diagnosis and began to focus on treatment and rekindling old hobbies, such as crafting fine folk instruments. His last months were defined by his faith, positivity, and fellowship; and the grace he demonstrated during this time was and is an inspiration to all who knew and loved him. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife Tomi. He is survived by his son David Reese Spence and wife Hallie of Georgetown, Texas; his brother David Wendel Spence and wife Mary of Ann Arbor, Michigan; his sister Matine Trudy Spence and husband Michael Cone of Madison, Wisconsin; his mother-in-law, Mamye Ruth Longtin Bryant; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and extended family.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 19, 2019 at First United Methodist Church, 410 E University Ave, Georgetown, Texas. Memorials may be made to the Wesleyan Homes Benevolent Fund, or to the charity of your choice.
To share memories and condolences with the family, please visit www.cookwaldendavisfuneralhome.com.
- Memorial Service Saturday, January 19, 2019
Christopher George Spence
January 14, 2019
Chris was a talented and giving man. He gave his talents to St. John's Players for many years and gave support to many activities at St. John's United Methodist Church. I was saddened to learn of his diagnosis and his death. He will be remembered for his leadership of Wesleyan Homes, but I remember him for his acting talent and his sense of humor.