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Donald Pasquale Spence

1937 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Donald Pasquale Spence Obituary
April 19, 1937 - October 14, 2017
According to Don Spence, he was the luckiest guy in the world. He had the best parents, Harold and Dorothy Valente Spence; the most fun, fond, and best-fed famiglia; the ideal childhood (born in Detroit, on a block owned by his great-grandmother and surrounded by famiglia, Valentes, Persichinos, Vettrainos, and Primos; and later a wonderful rural life in Earlimart. CA; followed by Bakersfield, where he attended high school and college). Divorced from his first wife, Linda Miles of Bakersfield, and predeceased by his second, Shirley Oliver of Downey, he never stopped saying how beautiful and exceptional they both were and how miraculous it was they'd married him. He was proud to the rafters of his daughters by Linda, enjoyed his sons-in-law as if they were gifts picked out especially for him, and delighted in every grandchild, each one extraordinary. After many different jobs in California, he found his niche in Las Vegas in the gaming industry, first as a slot floorman, then foreman, with his glory years as Casino Manager of the Hotel Continental and then Debbie Reynolds Casino. He loved to write and perform in commercials and promos, for Ben Stepman Dodge and for the Hotel Continental, and at every casino where he worked he was asked to emcee tournaments and events. He taught Slots and Casino Management at Clark County Community College and was honored for outstanding work. At age 79 he was working full-time, graveyard shift, as a pit boss at Max, and writing reams of comedy material for a stand-up show he planned to perform someday. Inclement weather or crowded courses could stop him from playing golf, his favorite pastime, but nothing stopped him from writing. He also loved video poker, especially at Tuscany, and every time he hit a jackpot he bought suits, at Mastroianni's. (They had to be Italian!) He's been called "The Best Dressed Man in Vegas." Max employees were requested to wear Hawaiian shirts, but Don was old-school, glamorous Vegas. When he died he owned 25 suits and zero Hawaiian shirts. He died peacefully in hospice in the Woodland Hills home of his daughter Amber, and her husband, Paul Zeidler (hey, Bubba), with his daughter Carmel and her husband, Christopher Wooley, by his side, day in and day out. He is survived as well by grandchildren Normandie, Giamaica, Zane and Quest Zeidler and Tucker Wooley, by grandson-in-law T. Steven Bullock (honorary Italian), great-granddaughter Avery Jean Zeidler-Shehab (the last kiss), and beloved cousins Pam and Don Duszynski (honorary Italian) as well as other dear cousins. He is also survived by stepson Tony McCargar and his wife, Linda, and their children Johanna (Chuck), Robyn (Mark), Kellie, and Tony (Kathryn), and grandchildren Jessica, Khaleel, Kelyn, Parker, and Sjaan; and Don's two daughters surrendered for adoption, Connie Francis and her children Megan Straub, William Muggelberg III, and Shelby Muggelberg, and Megan's daughter, Juniper Roberts; and Cammi Francis Quinton (Todd), and their children Steven Donovan, Harrison and Mikaila Quinton, and April Feliz, and April's daughter, Autumn. The family thanks and blesses the compassionate and competent caregivers from VITAS. He smoked too much, he died too soon. We miss him and we always will. But even as we cry, we smile. If he was lucky, so were we. Don treasured the memories of the summer he spent as a counselor in a camp for disabled children. A donation in his memory to any charity that benefits disabled children would warm our hearts.
Celebration of Life, for details email [email protected]">[email protected]">[email protected]">[email protected].
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 27, 2017
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