Morton R. ‘Mike’ Spence Jr.
April 18, 1934 - March 29, 2011
Morton R. "Mike" Spence Jr. of Chenequa died at home Tuesday, March 29, 2011, after a 12-year battle with multiple myeloma. For a majority of those years, he lived an active and comfortable life with his wife, Marie.
Born in Milwaukee in 1934, Mike resided there until his parents moved to Beaver Lake in the mid-1940s near Hartland. He attended Ripon College, Carroll College and the Milwaukee School of Engineering, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. He started his career as an engineer with Lange Lift Co. in Milwaukee. Then Mike joined Rundle-Spence at the request of his father, Morton R. Spence Sr., and became the fourth president of the company in the mid-’60s. Mike began a new era of solid business practices that combined his intensity with a strong customer focus and interest in developing a highly capable business team. His business philosophy created and sustained the successful business customers appreciate today. With his careful navigation, the business has grown for a fifth generation. Now with son David Spence as president and son Rob Spence (Morton III) as vice president, the company is well-positioned to continue strong future growth.
Mike’s interests in tennis, golf and skiing flourished during his early years, but as time diminished, his strength he grew more involved in boating. After years as an avid and competitive sailor, it was just a quick side step from "ragman" to "stink-potter." Mike and Marie began spending more time at their home in Naples, Fla., to enjoy the sun, sand, water and the beauty. They cherished frequent visits from family and friends and also made many new friends in the Naples area.
Mike purchased the first parcel of land in the New Berlin Industrial Park and Rundle-Spence became its first industrial resident. He also was instrumental in organizing the New Berlin Industrial Association in 1965. Mike gave back to the community by serving on many industry, banking, municipal, educational, country club and health care boards. He was a conservative, a Rotarian, and a "Go USA" kind of guy. Friends will remember many spirited political discussions! And ALL who knew him will remember his warmth, loyalty, honesty and kindness.
He is survived by his wife, Marie C. Spence, and his children, Jennifer Spence (husband Brian Seliger) of Madison, Morton R. Spence III "Rob" (wife Maureen) of Sun Prairie; and David (wife Dawn) of Delafield. There are seven grandchildren, Katie of Bozeman, Mont., Michael, Andrew, Eric and Madeline of Sun Prairie and August and Elizabeth of Delafield. Mike is also survived by four siblings, Susan (husband Robert) McNutt of Birmingham, Mich., Jeffrey Spence of Oconomowoc, Kenneth Spence of Sarasota, Fla., and Sara Spence of Oconomowoc; as well as nieces and nephews, Mike McNutt, Heidi Paterson, Peter Spence, Kelly Pagel and Matt Spence.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 1600 Genesee St., Delafield. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 9, at the church.
Memorials are suggested to Oconomowoc Regional Cancer Center, AngelsGrace Hospice or Christ the King Lutheran Church.
Evert-Luko Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 367-2156 or visit online at www.evertlukofuneralhome.com.