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Clarence William "Bill" Spence Jr.

Spence Jr., Clarence William "Bill" Died on Sunday, December 1, 2013. He was born August 10, 1929 in Des Moines, IA to Clarence Wm. and Leola M. (Stephenson) Spence. He grew up and was educated in Mount Ayr, Iowa where he graduated from high school in 1947. He received a BA (Journalism), BME and MME (Music Education) degrees from Drake University in Des Moines, IA. He was affiliated with Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and was named to the National Collegiate Who's Who and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. He later studied at the University of Illinois for a Doctorate of Education in choral music. In 1951 Bill joined the Iowa-Nebraska Air National Guard and served on active duty during The Korean conflict. God blessed Bill with a talent in music which he chose to share as a music educator. He taught in schools in Pleasantville, Leon, and Denison, IA, and for 25 years was the Choral Music Director and an English instructor at East High School in Aurora, where he also directed the annual musicals. The faculty and his former students at East High held a special place in his heart. Through his affiliation with East High he co-founded the Summer Stage Music program, offering the area's youth a chance to participate in a summer musical for the community. Summer Stage continues to this day. Bill's strong belief in God lead him to active participation as a choir director in Trinity Episcopal Church in Aurora, and he later served on the vestry at Calvary Episcopal Church in Batavia. He was involved in several community organizations, but was especially active in the Illinois Retired Teachers' Association and was an officer at the local, regional and state levels. He also served with his good friends as president of the association for his condominium. He is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, John Edward and Robert Allen. Bill was proud of both his brothers, especially Robert's sacrifice in France during World War II. Genealogy was a hobby for Bill, and tracing his Scots-Irish great-grandfather's journey to this country built in him a strong feeling for family and its importance in defining who he was. He leaves his children, Lynne Spence, and David and John Spence; their spouses, Timothy, Susan, and Laurie; grandchildren, Michael, Nicholas, Cameron, Jacqueline and Gwendolyn and step grandchildren, Heather, Bradley and Brandon and their families. He also leaves a niece, Julie Lehman (Spence); a nephew, John E. Spence, Jr.; and a cousin, Joan (Stephenson) Pringle; along with their spouses and families who were an integral part of his life. A memorial service will be held at Calvary Episcopal Church in Batavia on Saturday, December 7 at 11:00 a.m. Public is welcome to attend. His ashes will be interred in the Columbarium at Calvary. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Aurora Area Retired Teachers Scholarship Fund. Please contact the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley to make a donation.

Published in Beacon News on Dec. 4, 2013
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