Robert was born December 3, 1940 at home to C. Glen and Norma C. Anderson Spence. It now serves as the barn on the family farm in the Lenville Area. Dad always joked about being born in a barn! He was the youngest of five children.
He grew up on the farm, loving anything “horse related”, attending school and graduating from Genesee High School in 1960, lettering in football, basketball and baseball. On March 10, 1963, he married Terry Tash. They had three children, Kevin, Lori and Michelle. The couple later divorced.
Robert began his career as a skilled carpenter and craftsman starting with Sprenger Construction and Ray Bugh before stepping out and starting his own business, Spence Construction. He built several structures and beautiful homes in the area as well as remodeling others. He took great pride in building beautiful homes for his family.
Robert was an active member of the Jaycee’s, serving as president. He was also involved in other areas, serving as chairman of the Little League ballpark that was constructed behind Lena Whitmore School. His hobbies included horseback riding and teaching his grandkids to ride, back country pack trips and rode the Appaloosa Chief Joseph Trail a couple of times, boating, camping, water skiing, playing pool, horseshoes, and gardening, definitely having a green thumb! He was an amazing dancer and enjoyed music and the “get togethers” at the ranch. He especially enjoyed attending his children and grandchildren’s sporting events.
Dad was a man of few words with a big heart and huge smile and was always there for family and friends. To know him was to love him and he will be dearly missed.
He is survived by his children, Kevin (Julie Gardner) Spence of Troy, Lori Kelnhofer (Eldon Hodges) of Moscow and Michelle (Dave) Bruck of Genesee, his grandchildren, Kammi and Shane Spence, Jordan Kelnhofer (Justin Maffey), Kendell and Taylor Kelnhofer and Makenna Bruck. Robert also leaves brothers, Bertle (Norma) Spence and Norman Spence and his sister Norene (Bobby) Bennett, several nieces and nephews and many friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Donald, and his faithful four-legged companion, Joey.
The family wishes to express their appreciation to his nephew, Dave, for the love and friendship they shared; also to Kindred Hospice for their care and support.
Dad’s wishes were to be cremated and his ashes scattered at the “Homestead”. A celebration of life will be held later. Cut a rug dad! You will forever be in our hearts! Keep riding with that smile!
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to the Appaloosa Horse Club Foundation, 2720 West Pullman Road, Moscow, ID 83843 to be used for the Chief Joseph Trail Ride, or to a local humane society.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to www.shortsfuneralchapel.net.