There were tears, yes, but there was also laughter, as more than 500 family and friends remembered longtime City Councilman Dave Spence, 80, at a memorial service Wednesday at La Cañada Presbyterian Church.
The Rev. Chuck Osburn asked those gathered if they recalled Spence — a six-time La Cañada Flintridge mayor who was serving his seventh City Council term when he died May 16 from an apparent heart attack — gleefully riding down Foothill Boulevard on a fire truck in past Fiesta Days parades. Hundreds of hands shot up.
Former Councilman Donald Voss shared a story about the time Spence packed an open bottle of wine in a suitcase on a trip they took to Washington, D.C., and then brought the wine to dinner when they arrived.
Mayor Michael Davitt remembered being a Planning Commission candidate and going to coffee with Spence, with whom everyone in the place seemed to want a word. When Davitt suggested they meet somewhere more private, Spence told him: “That’s OK, Sonny, I already checked you out.”
Spence’s fiancée and longtime friend, Jacky Hollingsworth, spoke of competitive games of rummy he lost at her house, and of the close bond between their Midwestern families.
“Dave and I especially depended on each other over the past four years,” she said.
“He filled my life with kindness, patience and support. I shall treasure those loving moments.”
His sons, Steve and Andy Spence, spoke of memories of their dad helping with homework, coaching softball and loving LCF.
Osburn read from Psalm 23 and John 14:1-6, the same scripture Dave Spence chose for his wife, Alice’s, memorial service in 2013.
Other speakers included family friend Don Lincoln, niece and nephew Keli and Jim Rapose, and Hollingsworth’s daughters Jinny Kanae and Betsy Tracy.
“The city will miss him, the council will miss him and I will miss him,” Davitt said.
“We know Dave is in heaven and no doubt running for office.”