Kenneth Spence

Kenneth John "Pop" Spence Sr.

Monday, September 17th, 1934 - Thursday, February 13th, 2020
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Kenneth John Spence, Sr. (85) of Millers, MD passed away on February 13, 2020 at home surrounded by his loving family. Born September 17, 1934 in Baltimore, MD, he was the son of the late Kenneth L. and Catherine (Mack) Spence.

Before he retired, Ken worked as a Machinist for Bethlehem Steel Corporation and then for Seagram & Sons Distillery. He was an active member of the N-SSA, Maryland Arms Collector Association and a life-long member of the NRA. When he wasn't firing Civil War Artillery Pieces, Ken enjoyed cruising to exotic locations and traveling across the U.S. in his RV. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

Ken is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Catherine A. Spence; son, Brian K. Spence and granddaughter, Samantha Spence; sister, Lorraine Cooney (nee Spence); niece Lorie Vaughn (nee Cooney); brother in law, Thomas D. Cooney.

He is survived by two sons: Kenneth J. Spence, Jr. and wife Ethel of Millers, MD, Mark A. Spence and wife Terry of Westminster, MD; daughter, Cheryl White and husband Bryan of Millers, MD; companion, Nancy Joan Schilling of Hampstead, MD; 11 grandchildren; 1 great grandchild and nephew, Thomas D. Cooney Jr.

A gathering of family & friends will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020, from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm at the Eline Funeral Home, 934 South Main Street, Hampstead, MD; followed by a Celebration of Life Service at 12:00 pm with Pastor Andy Vineberg officiating. Interment will be in St. Bartholomew Catholic Cemetery. A reception will be held following the interment at St Bartholomew Parish Center

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions are suggested to either Carroll Hospice Inc. – 295 Stoner Ave, Westminster, MD 21157, North-South Skirmish Association – 480 Chalybeate Springs Rd, Winchester, VA 22603 or The American Cancer Society –

Online condolences may be made at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 | 10:00am - 12:00pm
    Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 10:00am - 12:00pm
    Eline Funeral Home Hampstead
    934 South Main Street
    HAMPSTEAD, MD 21074
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 | 12:00pm
    Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 12:00pm
    Eline Funeral Home Hampstead
    934 South Main Street
    HAMPSTEAD, MD 21074
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Andy Vineberg
  • Interment

    St. Bartholomew Catholic Cemetery
    3071 Park Avenue
    MANCHESTER, MD 21102
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    St. Bartholomew Parrish Hall
    3071 Park Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Following The Interment.


  • National Rifle Association

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Private Condolence

Kenneth Spence Jr.

Posted at 08:25am
Remembering Ken Spence, Sr
Dad was born in 1934 during the depths of the Depression. It was a hard time. He grew up in a modest ethnic neighborhood in Baltimore. Coming of age in that part of town enabled Dad to acquire several words in Polish. It’s better that I not repeat in English the translations of some of what he learned.
After high school at Poly Technical, Dad became a machinist. Dad got married to his high school sweetheart Kay with their marriage lasting for over 55 years. Like many men in Baltimore, Dad worked for Bethlehem Steel Corp in Sparrows Point on the east side of town. From that job, he moved on to work at the Seagram’s Distillery in Dundalk where he retired.
In the 1970s, Dad moved his growing family from their home in North Point Village in Dundalk to Carroll County where family friends had introduced them to the area. It was a long commute back to Dundalk, but Dad persevered. He bought a diesel Rabbit to save on the cost of gasoline which began climbing steeply in the 70s.
In the late 60s the family began traveling initially for our skirmishing activities on the east coast but then on to see this fine country of ours. First it was east coast trips which took us south to the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida, then north into Pennsylvania, New York, and Canada. The adventures really started after Dad bought his new F-250 in 1971 and a new camper. After this we then planned and set off in 1972 for California in our “California OR Bust” adventure taking a southern route to get there followed by a northern route back home. It seemed like we were gone for at least 3 weeks or so. The 3 older kids Cheryl, Brian and Butch road cross country in the back of the pickup with a cap and 2 bunks that dad built for us. In the front seat was Dad, Mom, Mark and Grand mom. All we remember about that trip were the good times and many, many national parks and attractions we were fortunate enough to see. We collected pennants from each and every location. We also remember when we reached California and realized one of dads main goals was to get the 4 kids to Disneyland and we were so excited. The only problem was that Mark ended up in a hospital in Anaheim with Pneumonia so Dad and mom would take turns staying with Mark in the hospital and taking the rest of us into Disney the happiest place on earth. Mark and the whole family did finally get to Disney for the last day together.
Dad retired from Seagram’s Distillery in 1991, allowing him to spend time traveling with Mom. They continued to travel well into retirement, one of dads favorite destinations was Alaska even though they’d traveled to Italy, Ireland, Hawaii, Panama, and every one of the 50 states. Even after mom passed, Dad and Nancy went to Scotland, Nova Scotia and Alaska again. Dad experienced many traveling memories that lead him to tell stories about multiple adventures with anyone even when time did not permit. Dad could strike a conversation with anybody anywhere.
Retirement also allowed Dad to focus on spending quality time with his grandchildren. Dad was always excited to create new memories with his grandchildren, whether it was from traveling to Ocean City, bringing the grandchildren into his passion of skirmishing, and celebrating his favorite holidays Christmas and New Years. These memories will never be forgotten.
Dad had an abiding interest in guns, especially old guns. In the late 1960s he joined the North-South Skirmish Association. His friend at work, Wesley Coleman, was already a member of the team called McNeill’s Rangers which was the name of an actual Confederate unit in the Civil War. For many years they shot together along with numerous other men in the club who shared his enthusiasm for Civil War shooting. They became more than Dad’s lifelong friends becoming more like family. With his love of old firearms, and even cannons ever growing, he joined the Maryland Arms Collectors Association and became an avid collector himself.
Dad loved the camaraderie of the North-South Skirmish Association. It was one of his proudest moments when he was presented his 50-year medal just a few years ago, joining several other men in McNeill’s Rangers who already had been awarded this honor.
The years were passing more quickly now, Mom and Brian had passed on several years previously and age was taking a toll on Dad. At the end of last year, he decided to give up shooting all together.
He would have missed not going to the North-South Skirmish Association’s range at Ft Shenandoah this coming shooting season. But that won’t happen. Dad closed the book on his life and has crossed that river Stonewall Jackson spoke of as he lay dying more than 150 years ago.
Good-bye Pop. We miss you already.

Kenneth Spence Jr.

Posted at 04:06pm
One of McNeill's and Dads favorite poems on a Saturday evening around the campfire and at Club banquets!

There once was the love of a beautiful maid
And the love of a staunch, true man
And the love of a baby, unafraid
All have existed since time began
But the eternal love
The love of all loves
Even greater than love for mother
Is the infinite, passionate, tender love
Of one drunken Ranger for another.


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