Mrs. Rethia Spence, age 91, journeyed to her heavenly home on Sunday October 28, 2018 , after a brief illness. She was a woman of noble character who trusted the Lord her God and was a true Southern Lady.
She was born Feb 8 1927, Rethia Juanita Camp in Malone Alabama. At age 7 her family moved to Fredonia, Al. She and her family were active members to the Fredonia Methodist Church. She attended school at Five Points and graduated Valedictorian in 1944 from Five points High School. Unable to fulfill her dreams of college due to her father’s concerns for her health, she went to work at Batson-Cook Company as bookkeeper and payroll clerk then later Georgia Alabama Supply Company (1944-1951). In 1950, she married the love of her life, James H “Jimmy” Spence. In the fall of 1951 they moved to Summerville GA and she worked as a bookkeeper and payroll clerk for Wilson Motor Company until the fall of 1955. Her daughter, Janice was born in 1955 and her son Bill followed in 1957. During the years that her children were growing up and starting school, she helped Jimmy run a Chicken business on the farm. In the fall of 1964, she was ready to fulfill her lifelong dream of college. She graduated with honors from Berry College in 1968 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a second major in Library Science was obtained a year later by taking courses at Shorter College. She immediately began teaching in Chattooga County, due to a teacher having to leave midyear. She moved to a library position 2 years later. She received her Master’s degree in Library Science in 1972, commuting on weekends and staying during the summers at the University of GA. While living in Summerville, she was an active member of the Summerville United Methodist Church.
In 1972, the Spence family made their way to Dalton GA and she accepted a position as the Media Specialist at Valley Point Elementary School, working there until she retired in 1993. Upon coming to Dalton, she and her family were active in the community and at Five Springs Methodist Church. She served her Lord where needed and was the Church Treasurer for many years. She was always fantastic with numbers. She and Jimmy were also active with the Retired Teachers Community and the Historical Society. She will be forever missed by all her earthy family and friends.
Rethia was the daughter of J. Hoyt and Nevada Daniel Camp. She was preceded in death by her parents and parents in law; her brother, James O. Camp; her sister, Louise Camp Sanders; Brothers in law, Gurson Brown, John Morgan Spence, William Slagle, Wesley Nunn; Sisters in Law, Jean Spence Nunn, Mary Spence Hughes.
She is survived by the love of her life of 68 years, James H. “Jimmy” Spence; her daughter, Janice Wilmot and husband David; Her son, James William “Bill” Spence and wife Teresa Rollins; Her sisters, Betty Holley and husband Harold, Dorothy Brown; Brothers in law Yancey Sanders ( Emily), Sisters in Law Lena Spence, Sara Slagle, Peggy Camp; Numerous Nieces and Nephews.
A Celebration of life will be held on Wednesday October 31st at 2 pm at Five Springs United Methodist Church in Dalton GA. Rev. Tom Moseley and Rev. Ann Fleming officiating. Family will receive friends from 11 am ET until the service at 2 pm ET. There will be a burial service at the Fredonia United Methodist Church Cemetery, in Fredonia AL on Thursday November 1 2018. Family will receive visitors from 1-2 pm ET at the church and the graveside service will be at 2 PM ET, Rev. W Yancey Sanders, officiating.
The family requests flowers please be omitted and memorials made to the Five Springs UMC, 2823 Five Springs Road, Dalton GA 30721 OR the Fredonia UMC Cemetery Fund, Crystal Lashley, Treasurer, 6384 Co Rd 222, Five Points, Alabama 36855.