Long-time Slidell resident Harry D. Spence died at his home in Slidell on July 12, 2014 at age 91. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jabe Benjamin Spence and Ella Jenkins Spence, by his wife Polly and by all 10 of his older brothers and sisters. He is survived by his 5 children: Michael, Steven, Barbara, Joanne, Carol, and by 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren (with 2 more due in September). Mr. Spence was born in a railroad camp in Nicholson, Mississippi, on September 17, 1922. After the family relocated and spent several years at the Southpoint, Louisiana, railroad camp (Orleans Parish) the family moved to Slidell where Mr. Spence spent the remainder of his life. A 1940 graduate of Slidell High School, he later served his country in World War II by joining the U.S. Navy's 76th Construction Battalion ("Seabees"). Mr. Spence served for 2 years in Hawaii, Guam, and later with the Japan Occupation Forces in late 1945 (in the 98th Construction Battalion); he was very proud of his service. Upon arriving back to Slidell, he started his over 40-year career with the Central Louisiana Electric Company (CLECO) as a lineman becoming a well-known and recognized figure around Slidell and Pearl River. In 1952, he found the love of his life with Polly (Pauline) Bird of Lacombe and started a family. Early on Harry and Polly were active in the Kiwanis Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) with both serving in a number of positions. Mr. Spence was a life-long member of the First United Methodist Church and they attended faithfully through all their years and enjoyed being regular choir members. He had a lovely bass voice and would occasionally solo in the choir despite being hard of hearing. "Mr. Harry" also volunteered for many duties and functions including Cub Scout Pack 344 leader and Boy Scout leader for Troop 344 (First United Methodist Church of Slidell). He also enjoyed for years amateur astronomy and built his own telescopes. Mr. Harry was an avid duck hunter in the area since he was a teenager and for years ran catfish lines in the Pearl River as well as regular fishing and shrimping in Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Borgne, and The Rigolets. A number of Slidell residents and some of his Boy Scouts were invited on these duck hunts and many were lucky recipients of his renowned duck dinners. He was also famous for his deep-dish cobblers and home-made ice cream of which he made countless gallons over the years. He was a man most generous with his time and would be ready to volunteer to help anyone – and a fantastic father, mentor, teacher, and a man of great faith. In retirement Mr. Harry took up deer hunting, decoy carving, lamp making, and being a regular and active member of G.O.S.H. (Guardians of Slidell History). There will be a wake held at the Honaker Funeral Home, 1751 Gause Blvd. West, on Thursday evening, July 17th from 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM. An additional viewing will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 433 Erlanger St., Slidell, starting at 10:00 AM on Friday, July 18, 2014, with the funeral service to start promptly at 11:00 AM at the church. Interment will be held at Forest Lawn Cemetery right after the conclusion of the funeral service. We invite all to proceed with us after the service to the cemetery. Please visit www.honakerforestlawn.com to sign guestbook. Arrangements by Honaker Funeral Home, Inc., Slidell, LA.
The Guest Book is expired.
HONAKER FUNERAL HOME INC.
PO Box 6087
Slidell, LA 70469-6087
Published in TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com from July 15 to July 19, 2014