Notable La Cañadan Alice Spence dies

Alice Spence, a mother who took an active role in community affairs and was the wife of La Cañada Flintridge City Councilman Dave Spence, has died. She was 75.

She died on Thursday, Aug. 1 at an assisted-living facility in La Cañada near the house where they raised a family, her husband confirmed. She had suffered from dementia for many years.

The couple met at Ohio Wesleyan University in the 1950s and moved to this city in 1969. They often appeared together at community events, volunteering their time to local efforts and earning the shared distinction of "La Cañadans of the Year" in 1994.

Alice Spence was well-known in the community, especially at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, where she ran the church's first family camp. She also advised young women who were members of USC's Pi Beta Phi — a sorority she joined as a college student at Ohio Wesleyan.

She was described as an intelligent and focused person by family and friends, as well as a helpful neighbor.

She was the person to call when someone needed advice organizing a last-minute dinner party or to get a recipe, said friend Carolyn Stradling. "You had a question about almost anything, you'd call Alice. She was the go-to person."

Her faith guided her in her actions and her involvement in the community, Stradling added.

One of her other passions was serving on the California Department of Rehabilitation Appeals Board, where she held a position from 1986 to 2002. The department helps individuals with disabilities find jobs and live independently.

"She loved that work," said Dave Spence.

Stradling remembers walking often with Alice Spence through Descanso Gardens, one of her favorite places in the city.

"Alice is a friend I'll never forget," said Stradling. "She just embraced life."

Alice Spence is survived by her husband and two sons, Steve and Andy. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Betsy Anne. A private memorial service for family and close friends is scheduled to take place at La Cañada Presbyterian Church later this month.


Follow Tiffany Kelly on Google+ and on Twitter: @LATiffanyKelly.


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