It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Roy Garfield Spence. Roy passed away peacefully in Mississauga on Thursday, November 23, 2023, at the age of 88. Beloved husband of Mavis for over 58 years. Much loved father of Sharon & Michael (Amanda). Loving grandfather of Wesley, Cameron & Paige. Loving brother of John (Linda) Spence and Carole (Charlie) Marshall and beloved uncle of his nieces and nephews and their children.
Roy was born on July 18, 1935, to loving parents Roy Vernon Garfield Spence and Hazel Lillian Barnum in Mimico, Ontario. Roy spent his entire childhood in Mimico where he attended Mimico High School from 1950-1954.
At Mimico High, he excelled as a student and as an athlete. Roy was well respected by his teammates for his exceptional athletic ability and leadership qualities as evidenced by being named team captain of the school’s basketball and football teams. Roy was also an accomplished baseball player where he captained multiple Mimico baseball teams starring on the Mimico Painters Baseball Team, highlighted by winning the Ontario Provincial Championships at the Peewee Level, the Bantam Level, and the Midget Level. He also played on the Junior and Senior teams. After finishing his career playing baseball, Roy continued his love for the game and played softball. Growing up, Roy enjoyed winters playing hockey with his brother and neighbourhood friends at the local ice rink. As a young adult, Roy also had fun bowling in a league with friends.
Not only an athlete, Roy was also known for his brilliant mind when it came to math. His love for math led him to pursue his C.A. degree at Glendinning Jarrett, Chartered Accountants from 1954-1959. Upon completing his C.A. degree, Roy worked at the United Community Fund from 1961–1962. In 1962, Roy joined the investment banking firm R.A. Daly (which eventually became Gordon Capital) where he spent the balance of his career as an Executive Treasurer until 1994.
Roy met the love of his life, Mavis, in 1961, when Mavis was visiting from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England. Mavis’ sister, Joyce, played Matchmaker and introduced Mavis to Roy while Joyce was working with Roy at the United Community Fund. It didn’t take long for Mavis to be won over by Roy’s sense of humour and down-to-earth charm. Roy and Mavis’ love blossomed over the next 4 years. In 1965, Roy and Mavis got married back in Mavis’ hometown of Marlow, England. After a few years in Mimico, they settled in Mississauga and were excited to start a family together. Roy and Mavis welcomed their first child, daughter Sharon, in 1969. Four years later they welcomed their second child, son Michael, in 1973.
Roy was the consummate family man who devoted endless hours of time, energy, and love to his family. He coached his daughter’s softball team alongside his brother John, and his son’s various baseball and basketball teams. Whether he was a coach or an enthusiastic fan, Roy made sure not to miss any of his children’s activities. Roy was always there to support his children and encouraged them to do their best. His honesty, integrity, and fairness were at the heart of everything he said and did.
Roy was also very passionate about art. His passion for art started at a young age. When he was in his 20s, and in the hospital recovering from a knee injury, he began creating what he referred to as “doodles.” The doctors and nurses were fascinated by the creativity of his artwork. Roy was surprised by their genuine interest and amazement in what he had drawn.
Later in life, Roy enjoyed painting using watercolours and acrylics. He loved to use different mediums to bring his artwork to life and until the day he passed, he continually sought out new techniques to develop as an artist. Whether it was his artwork, the latest technology or any area of interest, Roy was always learning something new and finding solutions to problems until the day he passed.
Roy enjoyed supporting his children and grandchildren in any of their endeavours. He was always there, always present, and enthusiastic about his family’s activities – sports games and tournaments, dancing recitals, piano recitals, and school activities. Roy enjoyed them all. He encouraged his children to always do their best, to have a fair and honest work ethic, and to be independent. His sense of humour was ever-present and he could always find the funny aspect of a situation and come up with a joke to lighten the mood. Roy could see all aspects of a situation and understand various perspectives and different points of view while still maintaining his own values.
Roy loved travelling. He visited countries where his children lived and worked for several years – taking advantage of the opportunity to learn about new places and cultures. He travelled with friends and family, enjoying road trips and cruises and was always keen to depart the ship at every port to learn about each place and culture. When he retired in 1994, he enjoyed winters in Florida, golfing and exploring the local area. He was an avid theatre-goer and enjoyed listening to music and going to many big band and classical concerts. He tried his hand at the guitar and took piano lessons when his daughter began her piano lessons; always interested in learning a new skill.
Roy will always be remembered as a kind and supportive man who was loving, caring and dependable with a positive nature that brightened the world around him. He was humble, never boastful, down-to-earth, and always found the positive in life when others could not. Trusted and respected by family, friends and colleagues, Roy always made himself available to offer sound advice in every aspect of life.
One thing you could count on was Roy’s dry and witty sense of humour. If you were in a room with Roy, and people were laughing, it is safe to say that Roy was the one responsible for the laughter. In death, his spirit lives on in the countless happy memories he has created for friends, former colleagues, and family alike.
In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or Canadian Cancer Society.
Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Neweduk Chapel, 1981 Dundas Street West, Mississauga, Ontario to join the family in a Celebration of Life on Saturday, December 16, 2023, from 2-5 p.m. with Remembrances at 3:30 p.m.