James W. Spence, 91, of Salina, passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Jim was born in the Dry Creek Community near Willow Springs, Missouri on May 27, 1929, a son of the late Ira and Rhilda Spence.
Jim retired as Resident Manager of Webster Conference Center in 1997. Jim and Darlene traveled to many Camp Manager Conferences and loved to extend the time away by visiting many new areas of the country. Jim and Darlene traveled to 47 states and Canada. Jim continued working for Omli and Associates as a member of the auction crew. Jim was never found idle, his hobby was his love of work and enjoying time with others. He loved his children and grandchildren, he could be found teaching them his love of gardening and woodworking.
He was a member of the First Southern Baptist Church in Salina and served on numerous committees.
Jim and Darlene (Kelso) were married on April 5, 1986 in Salina, Kan. Jim is survived by his wife, Darlene, of Salina; sons, Gary Spence of Cashmere, Wash., Scot Kelso (Debra) of Hesston, Kan., and John Ed Kelso (Deanna) of Ada, Okla.; daughters, April Brown of Shoreline, Wash., Kelly (Mike Davert) of Plymouth, Minn., Lynn (Curt Marshall) of Salina, Margaret (James Peterson) of Beverly, Kan.; and special friend Jason Gabriel of Vermont.
Jim is also survived by nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers; son, Michael; and granddaughter, Hadley.
A memorial service will be held June 19, 2021 at 10:00 AM at First Southern Baptist Church in Salina. Jim chose the honorable gift of body donation to the University of Kansas School of Medicine for education and research that will ensure quality health care for future generations.
Memorial gifts may be made to First Southern Baptist Church Salina or Webster Conference Center Salina in care of Ryan Mortuary.
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