Glady’s Spence, 98, of Lubbock and formerly of Skellytown, passed away on September 28, 2020 in Lubbock.
Given COVID, the family has elected to have a small graveside memorial at 11:00 AM, Friday, October 2, 2020, at the Memory Gardens Cemetery in Pampa with her grandson, Darren Hudson, officiating. Burial and arrangements are under the direction of Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Directors.
Gladys Spence (Freeman) was born September 21, 1922 in Shady Dale, OK to John and Ola Flanagan Freeman. Growing up in Depression Era Oklahoma, her family and community were close knit, even late into life. She was a feisty Irish woman that would often chase her cousin Rudolph and her future husband Tom into the grade school outhouse for picking on her younger brother Max. After marrying Tom in 1939, they farmed for a short while in the area of Marietta, OK. After the breakout of the World War II, Tom did basic training at Ft. Riley, KS. Gladys rode on the stoop of a train car with Tom from Ft. Riley to Amarillo because there was no space on the train. A couple took pity on them and gave them a seat in their private car for the remainder of the trip to Los Angeles, CA. While her husband was in combat in France and Belgium, Gladys was a real life “Rosy the Riveter” working on ships in Long Beach, CA.
After the war, they moved to Pampa and then settled in Skellytown in 1950 where Tom worked for Cabot Corp. and Gladys raised their two children, John and Rita. She was an active member of First Baptist Church of Skellytown. After the deaths of her husband, Tom, and her children, she moved with her grandson, Darren, to Mississippi and then back to Lubbock, where she has lived for the past 10 years. She passed away peacefully on September 28, 2020, just seven days past her 98th birthday.
Gladys was preceded in death by all 11 of her siblings, her husband, and her two children.
She is survived by her grandchildren and families, Clay, J-Lee, and Caitlin Spence all of Austin and Darren, Lisa, Haley Hudson, all of Lubbock, and Nate Hudson and wife Kate of Tacoma, WA.
In lieu of flowers, the families suggest memorials to the First Baptist Church of Skellytown, P.O. Box 176 Skellytown, TX 79080.