Kenneth Lee Spence
Kenneth Lee Spence, 46, of College Station, Texas, passed away Jan. 4, 2019, as a result of a tragic cycling accident. Kenneth was born March 3, 1972 in Muncie, Ind., to Terry and Jacqueline Spence. He started school in the Philippines and graduated from East High School in San Antonio, Texas.
After high school he received a scholarship from the Navy to attend the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He graduated in May of 1994 with a bachelor of science in nursing. He was commissioned as an Ensign into the United States Naval Nursing Corps.
One week after graduation he married Debra Quezada of San Antonio, Texas. They went to his first duty assignment in Jacksonville, Fla. He then was selected to attend the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., where he received his Master’s Degree in Nursing and certification in Nursing Anesthesia. His next assignment was to Camp Lejeune, N.C., followed by an overseas assignment to Sigonella, Sicily. His final assignment was Portsmouth, Va., where he retired as a Commander from the Navy Medical Center, Portsmouth, Va., in 2013.
During his career he had numerous deployments in support of the War on Terrorism and Humanitarian Disaster Relief. He received numerous medals, ribbons and badges, including six Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbons, two National Defense Service Medals, a Humanitarian Service Medal, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, a Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon, and the Navy Pistol Sharpshooter Ribbon.
During his 2006 tour as the sole Nurse Anesthetist onboard the USS George Washington he was awarded his Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer Designation.
Upon retirement he took a position with Baylor Scott White as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in College Station, Texas. He later assumed the position as the Chief Nurse Anesthetist. He was a member of the St. Thomas Aquila’s Catholic Church, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and a member of a College Station cycling club.
Kenneth was loved and respected by everyone who knew him. He loved spending time with his wife Debra and beloved daughter Isabella. He participated in numerous bike races throughout the country, riding over 8,000 miles last year.
Kenneth is survived by his wife Debra, daughter Isabella, parents Terry (Capt. USAF Ret.), Jacqueline (Master Sgt. USAF Ret.) of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and his twin brother Captain Dennis Spence, United States Navy Nurse Corps.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. He will be laid to rest at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations be sent in Ken’s honor to Team Kainer (https://www.teamkainer.org/).