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Eileen D. Spence | 99

June 5, 1923 - January 16, 2023

Eileen D. Spence, 99, a resident of St. Marys, entered eternal life on Monday, January 16, 2023.  She was born in Erie on June 5, 1923, daughter of the late Edward W. and Florence Hespelein Downing.  She graduated from Villa Maria Academy in 1941 and worked as a secretary/bookkeeper at Lake Shore Lumber in Erie until she met the love of her life, Ottomar (Ottie) C. Spence.  On May 31, 1948, they married at St. Ann’s Church in Erie.  The ceremony was officiated by her uncle, Reverend Joseph Downing.

After moving to St. Marys, Eileen developed many treasured friendships within the community.  She was a board member of the Christian Food Bank, serving as secretary for 26 years.  Eileen volunteered at Sacred Heart Church on the Social Committee’s bakery and funeral outreach programs and at The United Way.  She was also a lifelong member of the Catholic Daughters of America.  Later in life she worked as a bookkeeper for Elk Building Materials and St. Marys Precision Homes.  She enjoyed card club, art class, and golfing with many of her dearest friends.    

Eileen deeply loved her family and was loved a hundredfold in return.  Countless years were devoted to raising her six children who will greatly miss her. 

She is survived by four daughters: Marlene and her husband Bryan Lett of Wyomissing, PA, Ann Bly of Pembroke Pines, FL, Gail Crosbie of Davie, FL, and Mary and her husband David Palmer of Gibsonia, PA; two sons: Jeffrey of St. Marys and Richard of Somerset, PA; a brother, Dr. Charles Downing of San Antonio, TX; and two sisters-in-law: Rita “Sister” Downing of San Antonio, TX and Sandra Assalone of St. Marys.  Also surviving are 15 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband and parents, Eileen was preceded in death by a brother Edward of San Antonio, TX; two daughters-in-law: Michele Spence of St. Marys and Karen Spence of Somerset; two sons-in-law: Larry Bly of Pembroke Pines, FL and Jimmy Crosbie of Davie, FL; three sisters-in-law: Alene Downing of San Antonio, TX, Mary Louise Francis of St. Marys and Shirley Erich Spence Adams of Erie, PA; and three brothers-in-law: Richard L. Spence, Joseph Francis and Thomas Assalone, all of St. Marys.

Visitation will be held in the Lynch-Radkowski Funeral Home on Thursday, January 26, 2023 from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM.

Family and Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial for Eileen to be celebrated in the Sacred Heart Church on Friday, January 27, 2023 at 10:00 AM with the Rev. Jeffery J. Noble, Pastor, officiating.  Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.

Memorials if desired may be made to The Christian Food Bank, P.O. Box 1033, St. Marys, PA  15857, Sacred Heart Social Committee, 337 Center St, St. Marys, PA  15857 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.



January 26, 2023
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Lynch-Radkowski Funeral Home

Funeral Service

January 27, 2023
10:00 AM
Sacred Heart Church

Final Resting Place

January 27, 2023
11:00 AM
St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery

Tribute Wall


  1. Dear Spence Family,

    It was our honor and pleasure to know Eileen. Her peaceful passing surely was of great comfort to all of you. A lovely, kind and caring lady that always expressed her love for her wonderful and supportive family. You are all so blessed to have had her in your lives.
    May she rest in the arms of Our Savior and rejoice in the reunion of the family and friends that have gone before her.
    Our hope is that you can take great pleasure in celebrating her well lived life.
    Our deepest sympathy. Sending our love and prayers.

  2. Spence family,
    Condolences with the loss of your mom and grandma! She lived a great long life, that I am sure you have many memories to hold close to your heart. Prayers for peace during this time

  3. Best Neighbors Ever! Growing up, the Spence’s were our next door neighbors. Their home was always a safe haven for all us neighborhood kids.
    Eileen was kind, caring and spiritual. I’m so glad you made it possible for her to spend her final days in the family home!
    God bless and keep you all.

  4. A note of sympathy and promise of prayer from an “old” neighbor. ..Etheldale, Rosedale, Wolfel, the “keg” field. It was a simpler time, a time of innocence. Our parents supported one another, the kids played together.. also remember Sister Mary Thomas coming to visit. After I entered she became one of my best friends and mentors…remembering all with love. I visited with your Mom a few times when I was in St. Marys visiting my Uncle John Fedorko. She would be in the dining room participating in whatever activity was occurring at the time. Again love, prayers, sympathy. “Susie” Herzing

  5. Gail and family,

    May your heart be filled with cherished memories. Keeping you in my prayers

  6. Jeff and family, sorry for your loss. She sure lived a long life. She’s with all those that passed before her. Smiling down on all of you.

  7. Dearest Family,
    I so enjoyed every moment spent with Eileen ‘practicing computer’ and every other computing issue that came up!!!
    My deepest sympathy and love!

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