Heaven welcomed angel Dale Spence on Sunday, November 11, 2018 as Dale went home to be with his Lord and Savior. Dale unexpectedly passed away at his residence after returning from a weekend of pheasant hunting with his son.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 10:30 am at Horan & McConaty Funeral Home, (9998 Grant Street, Thornton, Colorado 80229) with Pastor Jim Zastrocky officiating.
The service was followed by interment ceremonies at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Colorado at 1:30 pm where Dale was laid to rest with military honors.
Dale was born in 1944 to Claire and Lesile Spence in Merrimen, Nebraska. Dale was the youngest of four brothers. James (Jim), William and Robert. Shortly thereafter the Spence family moved to Torrington, Wyoming where Dale graduated with honors from high school and, upon graduation, joined his brothers in ranching in the Torrington area. Dale then enrolled in the University of Wyoming attending only a short time before being drafted into the US Army in 1965. The Spence family had a strong sense of service with all four brothers serving in Vietnam.
Dale proudly served his country in Vietnam as a combat medic and received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Bronze Star (1967) and Purple Heart (1966) for his bravery and service before being honorably discharged in 1967.
Dale moved to Denver and joined the ranks of the Denver Police Department in 1974 and became a dedicated servant for more than thirty (30) years, promoting to Sergeant early in his career. During his time as a police officer, Dale was assigned to the Gang Bureau, Vice and Narcotics, Internal Affairs, Auto Theft, Homicide Unit, Metro SWAT (88-92) and the Metro Gang Task Force (00-03). Dale was also responsible for the creation of the Special Crime Attack Team (SCAT) (78-82) in multiple districts and eventually served in all five of Denver’s districts. Dale made the decision to retire in 2004, wanting to spend more time with his family at his home in North Carolina.
A devoted husband and father, Dale’s family was his life’s greatest joy. Justin, Dale’s son, was born in 1979. Dale proudly pinned Justin with his badge as Justin followed in his father’s footsteps to become a deputy with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department. Dale met the love his wife, Janet Kay while working at Denver Police Headquarters and married her in 1990 in North Carolina. Upon his marriage to Janet, Dale adopted a large extended family and created bonds that could not have been any stronger if they had been blood related. After his retirement, Dale spent many hours hunting and shooting with his son and many close friends and spending time at their home in Bryson City, North Carolina with family. Dale also loved going to the gun shows, buying, selling and collecting guns and shopping for antiques.
Dale was known for his giving personality and the guidance and support he so freely gave to others. He was a man of few words whose actions spoke for him yet when Dale decided to talk, he could tell a story like none other. Our world will be a lesser place without Dale in it and his presence will be missed by all.
Dale’s parents, Claire and Lesile, preceded him in death along with his brothers Jim, Bill and Bob; and Dale’s dog, Daisy. Dale is survived by his wife, Janet; son, Justin (Janet); and dog, Benji.
The Spence family would like to acknowledge the endless blessings bestowed upon them by the Fultz family of Torrington, Wyoming and Winchester family of Bryson City, North Carolina as well as those who have assisted in helping us celebrate Dale’s life. We all look forward to the day that we join Dale in celebration.
Memorials may be made in Dale’s name to Waggin’ Tails Shelter, 980 West 11th Avenue, Torrington, Wyoming 82240.
Please share your memories of Dale and condolences with his family by visiting the guestbook at HoranCares.com.