A J Spence

December 20, 1942 - July 2, 2019
U.S. Armed Forces Veteran
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A.J. Spence was born December 20, 1942 in Duncan, OK to Thurston and Alice Ruth Jones Spence. It is not bragging to say that Alice and Thurston had three very smart boys, and Jay was the oldest of the brothers. Jay attended Duncan schools and graduated in May, 1961 from Duncan High School. During his early school years he earned money by throwing papers for the Duncan Banner. Jay bought a bicycle but quickly moved to a scooter. This began Jay's lifelong love of motorcycles. Jay spent a lot of time on his Harley motorcycle in the 1970' and '80"s. For a time he raced motorcycles on a dirt track and wore out many a pair of boots leaning into the corner on the turns on his Indian Motorcycle. During high school Jay was an usher and projectionist for the Palace Movie Theater. He could splice, change reels, and watch for the "change over' marker with the best of the projectionists. After graduation Jay spent a year in San Francisco, California working and learning about computers under the watchful eye of his Uncle Don.

Jay married Phyllis Monday in Duncan, Oklahoma in June, 1962. They made their home in Duncan and both worked for Halliburton Oil and Gas. They quickly wanted to start their family and to secure a better future for their family Jay checked out books at the local library and would go in their bedroom at night to read and study course-books on computer programming. He became proficient enough to take and pass the test to qualify him for a computer programmer position.

Jay enlisted in the U.S. Navy on March 21, 1966 with the goal of making a career in computers in the service. His basic training was completed at the U.S. Training Center in Great Lakes, Il and he completed his computer courses at the IBM Education Center in San Francisco, CA. Jay and Phyllis' first duty was the Naval Base at Norfolk, Virginia with the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. They made many friends and were establishing their life in the Navy.

In 1968 Jay ordered the red Corvette of his dreams. Before it was shipped, he and Phyllis received the happy news they had been waiting for, they were going to have a baby. Jay cancelled the Corvette and, as he said, he got a better deal, a baby boy instead. Scott Reed Spence was born April 2, 1969 in Norfolk, VA. They were beyond happy. Shortly after Scott's birth Jay accepted an assignment with Fleet Intelligence Center at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It was a happy time liviing the Navy life with his family.

In 1971 Jay began his career as a programmer with Oklahoma Department of Human Services in the Management Information Computer Center. Jay held many management positions within the computer center, retiring in 1995 as the Network Administrator for one of the largest computer centers and networks in the state. Jay met his lifelong friend Larry Harmon at MID and together they were part of ushering in many changes in technology for the agency, including the largest information systems undertaking in government developing and implementing the Child Welfare KIDS system with a joint DHS and Deloitte and Touche Project Team. Larry was the Wow. Jay was the How. Through those years Jay considered his work family as Family and for many years they were his lifeline. There were many heated debates about how a project could be accomplished. At the end of the meeting Jay would always say "let's go get a cup of coffee" - his way of keeping it just business, not personal. He would often hug you too tight or slap you on the back too hard. He had every component widget, and weird part on his desk. And maps, always maps on the walls. He truly loved his work family. Back in the day, at MID, we were Kings. Jay retired in 1995 and spent a few more years as a consultant with MicroAge before fully retiring from the computer- industry. A.J. was a long-time member of the America Public Welfare Information Systems Management Association (APWA/ISM).

On May 4, 1994 Jay married Judy Johnson. They met at work and at the time of his death they had been together thirty-seven years. After retirement they spent their time enjoying their growing family of grandkids, nieces, nephews, and "the greats". His family was the light of his life. His goal was to see his grandchildren graduate high school. They have gone on to do so much more. He was so proud of his son Scott, in every way. They are so very much alike. His nieces and nephews were special and he considered them extended daughters and sons. Jay and Judy spent a lot of time in Carnegie with Judy's parents where Jay and his mother-in-law Frances would debate the stock market, the price of wheat, the state of the oil and gas industry, and the price of a good cow-calf pair. There were many trips to the farm with Walt and Frances and always a good lesson to be learned in Farming-101. In 2010 Jay and Judy moved to Carnegie to be closer to the farm. Jay adopted the town of Carnegie, and they adopted Jay. He enjoyed many good friendships in Carnegie and counted on our Cousin Group for a good time. He relied on his good friends Orval, Johnnie, and Dennis everyday, especially towards the end. Orval showed him new roads in the countryside. Johnnie kept his health going and, when it didn't, Johnnie called the ambulance. Dennis was a patient partner, friend, and mentor in the farming business. Jay completed his vision of a water well, a new barn and gates, and conservation practice. He even adopted a new Longhorn in 2007 that he loved. He was a great cook! He loved Asian food. He believed hot sauce belonged on everything. He was a member in good tanding of the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Turtle, Kindblade Disambiguation. He loved a good day at the racetrack with the ponies. A.J. knew a little bit about everything. He could be counted on as a loyal friend. He was always interested in finance, business, math, technology, and later farming! He spent a good part of his life caring for others. He was a member of the First Christian Church of Carnegie and cherished his prayer warrior and Sunday school teacher, Margaret. He was a terrible joke teller, but told them anyway and thought he was funny. And, that made us laugh all the more at his jokes. He is sure going to be missed by his large circle of extended family and friends. We will see him on the Otherside.

Survivors: Wife, Judy, of the home in Carnegie, OK
Son: Scott & wife Kelly Spence, Ft. Worth, TX
Grandchildren: Ian Spence, College Station,, TX
Addison Spence, Waco, TX
Rylee Spence, Ft Worth, TX
Brother: Dan & wife Gayle Spence, Del City, OK
Niece: Tina & husband Brad Seaborn, Meeker, OK
Nephew: Chris Spence, Oklahoma City, OK
Nephew: Charles Spence, Colorado
Brother In Law: Don & wife Melodee, Edmond, OK
Nieces: Shara & husband John Zimmerman, Hochatown, OK
Stephanie & KC King, Maricopa, AZ
Great Nieces and Nephews: Coleman, Casie, Kyle, Landon, Riana, Evy, Henry Walter, and James Jay
Special Cousin Gary and wife Karen Jones, Oklahoma City, OK

Preceded in death by his parents, his brother Guy Craig Spence, and wife Phyllis Monday Spence and father in law and mother in law, Walter and Frances Johnson.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Carnegie Tri County Muicipal Hospital, PO Box 97, Carnegie, OK

Memorial Service: 11:00 am Tuesday, July 9, 2019
First Christian Church, Carnegie, OK

Under the direction of Ray & Martha' s Funeral Home, Carnegie, OK

Service Information

Date: July 9, 2019
Time: 11:00 am

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Helen Harmon
Oklahoma City, OK
Love you Judy. My prayers -and thoughts are with you ????????
Bill Reedy
Carnegie, OR
Judy, My Love & Prayers Go Out and Up for You!!! He isn't Gone, he is just Resting High Up On That Mountain!!! Love You!!!
Vickie & Don Epperson
Carnegie, OK
Judy, we are so very sorry for your loss... words cannot express what our hearts feel..  We will be praying for you as God comforts you as only He can... Love and prayers.????????
Billie Sue Taylor
Lake Charles, LA
Bill and I send our prayers and sincere sympathy to Jay’s family and friends.
Richard and Margaret Tinker
Lawton, OK
Such a fine man. Don't make them like that anymore. You were certainly blessed to have had the opportunity to be Mrs. Jay Spence. We especially appreciated his commitment to the Lord Jesus. He will be sorely missed - until the broken circle is again restored by God's great grace and power. Amen.
Stanley Kindblade
Carnegie, OK
So sorry, if you need anything let me know.
Patsy and Dave Bishop
Jensen Beach, FL
Judy, We are saddened by the loss of a good and loyal man.
Sandy and Lance Harmon
New Braunfels, TX
J was, and you are deeply respected and loved.  We are so sorry for the loss of J, and are keeping you and your family in our prayers.
Anita Cook
Oklahoma City, OK
Dear Judy and family, what a wonderful, kind, caring, loyal, funloving guy Jay was to all! It was a pleasure working with him for many years at DSD. Jerry and Larry and Jay were the 3 Musketeers (or 3 Stooges). They made each day at DHS fun and challenging! So sorry for your loss.
Mike Manley
Carnegie, OK
I thought Jay was a great man.
You are a real trooper Judy!
Phyllis Watson
Blanchard, OK
Praying for you and your family as you celebrate the life of your most beloved husband, Judy! You will remain in my prayers as you move forward in the days to come.  May God bless you with sweet memories of precious times and love to carry on!
Susan Bohl
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Richie & Susan
Lance Temple
Wichita Falls, TX
Judy, I'm thinking of you and your family during this most difficult time in your lives.  I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious husband.  I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.  Love you all...……………
Mr. Mrs Jimmie Cash
Yukon, OK
Nice man enjoyed working with him and his friendship.
May God watch over his family.
A. J. and I went to high school together in Duncan.  Don't know whether he would remember me or not.  If I had known he lived so close by, 35 miles, I would have driven down and had coffee with him! Found his obituary very informative.  We should figure out how to publicize background stories before the people pass.  Charles Ashcraft, DHS 1960.
Glen and Donna Giles
Norman, OK
Learned so much about Jay. So glad we were fellow Turtles. We thank God for having the opportunity to know Jay. Judy and Jay...a great duo. Love to you both.
Duncan, OK
Beautiful tribute! Duncan, Ok. Gratefully salutes a native Son! Thank you!
Mary Akin Aunins
Wichita, KS
O. H., you were always such fun to be around, and we will miss you very much. The first time I remember talking to you was when you were helping serve food at a family reunion near Madill.  My foam plate broke and got your clothes messed up.
You were very gracious about it, but I bet you were thinking that there were too
darned many Kindblades, and some of them ate too much! Rest well, beloved
friend. - Cousin Mary Ethel, Wichita.
Oklahoma City, OK
Judy and family may the comfort of your many friends and family hold you tight in their love and prayers.  Peace be with you.  Jacob
Grady and Charlene Frizzell
Burleson, TX
Dear Judy and Scott, we were best friends with AJ and Phyllis during the years he worked at Halliburton.  Grady worked with him in the computer department. We spent every weekend together. We went to the Texas state fair, Six Flags about the first year it opened. We visited Grady's sister in Houston and went to a ballgame in the Astrodome.  So much fun. We would lay on a quilt in our yard at night looking at the stars and playing word games.
We have so many wonderful memories. We were called by Alice Ruth when Phyllis had the stroke. We saw them a few times after moving back to Oklahoma City.  By then we had 2 children. We lost touch, moved to Texas, and have tried many times since retiring to locate him. I found a phone number on line a few weeks ago but had not followed up. I am so sorry.  It sounds like he had a wonderful life with you. I know all the responsibilities he had as a young man could have overwhelmed someone with less character.
Your family will be in our prayers.  I wish we could be there to honor him.
God bless,
Charlene and Grady Frizzell
Stephanie Salazar Anderson
Sorry for yalls loss, he will be missed. Prayers being sent yalls way
Danny Spence
Del City, OK
Brother, mentor and Dad. I will miss the calls, and will be lost with out them. I'm glad we had the private talk I'm ICU. Small family with three boys so different. The best two bothers I could ever want. I am glad to have my family to prop me up. I will see you on the other side of the river. You and our group. I long for the day Dan
chris spence
oklahoma city, OK
Olga Clabaugh-Lab
Carnegie, OK
What a great man! We enjoyed him in the Lab, he will be missed. Judy if you need anything please call me. Much love to you and yours.
David Scott
Carnegie, OK
He was part of the family from day one.  So glad for the visits and time spent with the two of you. He took great care of you cuz as you did him. We will miss him. We love you and are here for you.
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