Cover photo for Orville Dean Spence's Obituary
Orville Dean Spence Profile Photo

Orville Dean Spence

September 4, 1935 — April 18, 2018

Orville Dean Spence, 82, of Washington, Kan., died April 18, 2018 at the Homestead Nursing Home in Washington.Visitation was Sunday, April 22, from noon to 8 p.m. at Ward Funeral Home in Washington.  The family received friends from 5 to 7 p.m.A funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, April 23 at Ward Funeral Home in Washington. Pastor Jim Stark officiated.  Music played during the service was "I Want to Stroll Over Heaven with You," "Lead Me Home" and "Far Side Bank of Jordan."Pallbearers were Robert Spence, Brian Spence, Nick Fischer, Brady Rogers, Christopher Rogers and Clyde Miller.  Honorary pallbearers were Neva Rogers, Katie Spence, Maverick Rogers, Colt Rogers, Laramie Rogers and Shelby Spence.Burial was in the Washington City Cemetery. Orville Dean Spence, 82, passed away peacefully April 18th after a two year battle with a glioblastoma brain tumor. Orville Dean was born September 4, 1935 to Orville M. and Ruby Yager Spence at Hoxie, Kansas. He graduated in 1953 from Haddam High School. In 1956 he married Lela Virginia Griffin.  The couple had four children Lori Ann, Douglas Dean, Steven Greg and Michael Ray. Orville Dean worked for 50 years as a soil conservation contractor.  He started at the very young age of 14 when he crawled on a caterpillar tractor and began working for his father. Anyone that knew Orville Dean knew he loved turkey hunting, fishing and gardening.  Over the years he was known to deliver fish and fresh garden tomatoes to friends and family. Thanksgiving at grandma and grandpas wouldn’t have been the same without his smoked wild turkey for dinner.  But, his family knew his greatest joy was his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He loved talking about teaching the Texas grandkids how to drive out in the brome grass behind the house.  He always knew the perfect fishing hole to make sure the kids caught fish. Countless hours was spent sitting patiently teaching how to call in a turkey.  His legacy, his love of the outdoors, has been passed on to the next generations.  Everyone looked forward to the rides on the “cat”.  The thrill of sitting with Grandpa on the loud noisy tractor was enjoyed by them all.  In the later years the “greats” loved spending time at the garden with him.  They all learned which gooseberries to eat and how to pick the perfect watermelon. Orville Dean was preceded in death by his parents Orville M. and Ruby Spence.  He is survived by his wife of sixty-one years Lela; his sister Clara (Dale) Miller, Washington; his children, Lori (Fischer) Powell, Phillipsburg, Doug Spence, Carrollton Texas, Steve (Kathy) Spence, Porter Texas, Mike Spence, Shawnee; his grandchildren, Neva (Christopher) Rogers, Long Island, Robert (Kelli) Spence, Oak Harbor, Washington, Brian (Abby) Spence, McKinney, Texas, Katie Spence, Porter, Texas, Nick Fischer, Long Island; his step-grandchildren, Nick and Joe, Shawnee;  his great-grandchildren Brady, Maverick, Colt, and Laramie Rogers and Shelby Spence. Memorial donations to be named at a later date.  Contributions may be sent in care of Ward Funeral Home, Washington.     To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Orville Dean Spence, please visit our flower store.


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