Patricia Arlene Spence

May 24, 1928April 5, 2020

Our beloved Mom, grandmother, teacher and friend

Patricia A. Spence, age 91, passed away on April 5th, 2020 in Portland, Oregon.

She was born just before the Depression and died during the great pandemic.

Patricia was raised as a young girl in Portland, Oregon and later moved with her family to a farm in Clackamas County, Oregon. She graduated from Oregon City High School, class of ’45, as World War II ended. She worked as a car-hop, in the shipyards, as a secretary, and picked berries and hops to put herself through college at the University of Oregon. A member of the Delta Zeta sorority, she graduated in 1949 with a baccalaureate degree in Journalism, the first in her family to attain a college degree. She received her teaching certificate from Lewis & Clark College. She highly valued the importance of an education.

Mrs. Spence taught 3rd grade at Reynolds (Rockwood) Hartley elementary school for 31 years. She served as President of her teacher’s union. She had exquisite penmanship and was a stickler for proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.

She was devoted to her church community at Savage Memorial Presbyterian Church, which she attended for 56 years. Through the years she remained active in civic, political and social endeavors, including travelling the world, taking ballroom dance lessons, golfing, attending the Oregon Symphony and the Portland Opera and playing bridge. Pat was active in Republican women’s groups, attending the Dorchester Conference, but changed parties recently. A breast cancer survivor, she attended survivor events. She was a firm believer in women’s rights and was outspoken about her values.

Most importantly, she was a loving and devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She is survived by her children, Scott Spence (Jayne), of Portland, Oregon, and Anita Jackson (Phil Jackson) of Fair Oaks, California. She adored her grandson’s: Cody Spence, Max Barnes, Robert Barnes and Dylan Spence, (Stephanie Spence) and her two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Jacqueline Griffith and predeceased by her sister Shirley Huntley.

A service and reception will be held at Savage Memorial Presbyterian, in Portland, Oregon church at a later date, after pandemic concerns subside.

Donations may be made in her honor to: *Savage Memorial Presbyterian Church *The Oregon Symphony *The Portland Opera


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, May 22, 2021

  • Reception

    Saturday, May 22, 2021


Patricia Arlene Spence

have a memory or condolence to add?

Derek Wheeler

April 28, 2021

I think I had Mrs. Spence twice as a teacher once for 3 grade and once for 4th. She was teaching a 3/4 split when I was in the third grade. She knew that me and this other kid Matt Cooksey were advanced readers so she let us read the fourth grade readers instead of the third grade reader.

I remember reading the excerpt from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe about Lucy meeting Tumnus the Faun. That got me into the Chronicles of Narnia. Mrs. Spence was good at encouraging stretching yourself like that.

Katherine wheeler

April 24, 2021

She was an amazing teacher I remember her last year teaching I found out it was her birthday so I had all the teachers keep her in the office I had my mom run to the store and get cookies and cake and something to drink I ran across the hall door Supply Closet decorated the whole room for her I felt that she deserved it a lot of students always talks about how hard of a teacher she was to deal with but that was because she cared so much about us getting the best education money could buy I wanted her last year of teaching to be the best always remember the one student the decorated the classroom to make her day The Best Day Ever she will pay dearly missed by all that she tought were so grateful to have her as a teacher when I found out that she live to 91 didn't surprise me she was a strong tough woman very determined I'm glad I had the chance to meet you I will never forget when you taught me a lesson to respect my elders you're amazing

Laurie Johnson

April 16, 2020

Pat has been a special friend and client, for the past 10 years. She is an amazing woman. She talked so much about teaching school, and was so adamant about people getting a good education. She was so sharp of mind, right up to the end. I admired her spunk in life, and her drive and determination for independence. She was a pillar of strength for me during some hard times in my life, and I will always remember her encouraging words. She was so proud of her grandsons, very proud of each and every one of them! Very happy that they went on for college and trade school. She was good at whatever she chose to take on. I watched her parallel park her car just a year ago, like a boss! She didn’t care much for computers or cell phones, I would have loved to text or call her during this horrible pandemic, while she was alone. I was so happy to be able to do her hair one more time for her while she was in the rehab facility we were able to laugh and joke together. She had a long, productive life, and will be missed by many people. I will always have a special place in my heart for you Pat. 💔

Shirley and Lesa Dixon

April 9, 2020

Pat was the central core of two bridge groups - every Monday at the Hollywood Senior Center and every Friday at the Rose Center. My mother (Shirley) began playing 8 years ago. Pat welcomed her and began driving her to the bridge games. Pat included her in lunches after bridge and became the person who connected my Mom with other bridge players. There are funny lunch stories (they once had lunch in a biker bar), and Pat planned, coordinated, and welcomed all. On the last bridge game with Pat, she planned a birthday luncheon for another friend. She has been with us since that time, and she’ll continue to have great influence on the bridge group. Although we miss her, we have her spirit in our hearts.