Padraic Tuthill Spence 1943-2013 WILLIAMSVILLE Padraic Tuthill Spence, age 70, died on Friday, September 27, 2013 of Lewy Body Dementia. Although he had the disease for eight years, he handled his decline with grace and a determination to give back, volunteering for a variety of Berkshire institutions until the last few months of his life. Mr. Spence was born in New York City in April 1943, the first child of Lewis and Eleanor Spence. At three months, he moved with his mother to Tyringham, while his father served in the war. Though Mr. Spence grew up in Cranbury, N.J., he always considered the Berkshires his home. Mr. Spence attended Brooks School and graduated from Harvard University in 1965. He served in the Army Special Forces and was stationed in Normandy, beginning a love affair with France that lasted until the end of his life. After attending law school at the University of Pennsylvania, he opted instead for a career in journalism, becoming a reporter at The Berkshire Eagle. He subsequently drove a milk truck, worked as a carpenter, and taught history at Lenox High School. In 1978, he joined his father at Spence and Company, teaching business writing at corporations and non-profits all over the United States, as well as in South America, Africa, and the Far East. Mr. Spence is survived by his wife, Julie Michaels; and their daughter Lily. He is also survived by sons ,Paddy and Justin; brothers Harry and Matthew; sister Olivia; and granddaughters Layla and Sage. His son Colin predeceased him. A gifted carpenter, Mr. Spence could build anything from a dining room table to his own canoe. He was an avid cyclist who owned more bicycles than he needed, a reader of books, a collector of records, an ardent Francophile, and a valuable contributor to any team in Trivial Pursuit. More than anything, Pad Spence was a man who cherished his friendships and celebrated other people's good fortune. When forced to retire because of poor health, Mr. Spence embraced service to others. He volunteered at Hospice and at the Great Barrington Senior Center. He organized a spinning group at Berkshire South, developing a group of dedicated riders. For many years, he was a steady presence at the Fairview Hospital Emergency Room where he was devoted to an extraordinary team of caregivers. Mr. Spence loved his wife and children enthusiastically, cherished his homes in the Berkshires and the south of France, and enjoyed nothing more than a 50-mile cycle through Tyringham or the Gorges de la Nesque. We hope they have bicycles in heaven. s
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Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Sept. 29, 2013