John M. Spence, of Portsmouth, born in Newport in 1933, passed peaceably at the age of 84 at Village House Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Newport. He lived a unique life. He was very proud of serving his country in the U.S. Army in the 19th Nike Missile Battalion attaining the rank of Sergeant. After the army John worked on tug boats for several years. Then John decided he wanted to be his own boss and bought a lobster boat and named it "The Junkman". He loved the life of working on the water. After retiring from that he started his next venture. He bought an independent taxi cab and serviced all of Aquidneck Island; again, he was the boss. He had many regular customers, especially the elderly. Saint Patrick's Day was his busiest day of the year! He couldn't wait for that day to come. He was a gentle man who would give you the shirt off his back, free rides if you were down and out. He was also known for carrying groceries up the stairs for his elderly customers.
He was the son of the late Marguerite M. (Gordon) Spence. He is survived by his siblings: Grace Knight of New Hampshire, Margeurite Blanchard and husband Alan of Portsmouth, Robert Spence and wife Marjorie of Portsmouth, George Spence and wife Dianne of Texas and sister-in-law Anne Marie Parent of Middletown. He is also survived by his beloved nieces and nephews: Laura Spence of Florida, Thomas Spence and wife Solmaz of Maryland, Charlene Tuttle and husband Larry Cohen of Warwick, Susan Knight of New Hampshire, David Tuttle and wife Heather of Ohio, Madeline and Amelia Tuttle of Ohio, Cameron and Ayla Spence of Maryland, Rodney Spence and wife Connie of Mississippi, Marlene Cockrell and husband Leman of Mississippi.
John was predeceased by his brother, Herbert Spence.
He will forever be in our hearts!
A private family service will be held at the Connors Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Village House Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, 70 Harrison Ave., Newport, RI 02840.
John's family would like to thank the staff at the Village House for their dedication and compassionate care for their beloved John.