Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Erastus Spence (1867-1957)


Born near Peterborough, Ontario on 17 September 1867, he attended Victoria College in Toronto, graduating with BA (1897, Prince of Wales gold medal) and BD (1898, Sanford gold medal) degrees, later also attaining a MA. He entered the ministry in 1891 and was ordained in 1899. His first posting was to Lumsden, Saskatchewan, after which his work took him back in an easterly direction, with subsquent terms at Glenboro (?-1904), Maryland Street Methodist Church (1904-1908), and Kenora, Ontario (1908-1911). He returned to Manitoba and served congregations at Neepawa (1911-1914), Dauphin (1917-1918), Souris (1918-?), Killarney (1923-?), Hamiota, Newdale, and Transcona at Yale Avenue United Church (1934-1938). In retirement, he took on Assistant Minister duties at Grace United Church and then at Westwood United Church. He also served as Secretary of the Manitoba Methodist Conference (1914-?). He married Mary Maude Tuck (1871-1961) in 1905 and had three daughters: Gertrude Jean Maryland Spence (1906-1999), Winona May Spence (1907-?, wife of A. C. Duncan), and Mary Louise Spence (1912-1998, wife of H. Douglas Kemp). He died at his Winnipeg residence, 183 Lanark Street, on 25 November 1957 and was buried in Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.


Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Unique presentation,”Manitoba Free Press, 5 October 1906, page 8.

“Final draft of Methodist,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 June 1911, page 5.

“New Secretary of Manitoba Conference,”Manitoba Free Press, 18 June 1914, page 4.

“Pastors named for new stations by Methodists,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 June 1917, page 3.

“Methodists to hear an address by Gen. Ketchen,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 June 1918, page 16.

“Missions face heavy defecit,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 June 1923, page 2.

“Transcona congregation marks anniversary,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 November 1934, page 3.

“United,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 april 1938, page 32.

“Transcona,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 June 1938, page 35.

“Father of bride officiates when Mary L. Spence weds Sergeant H. Douglas Kemp,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 January 1942, page 11.

“Rev R. E. Spence to hold farewell services Sunday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 May 1947, page 17.

“Grace Church,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 August 1949 page 8.

“Rev. R.E. Spence widely-known clergyman dies,"Winnipeg Free Press, 26 November 1957, page 6.

Winnipeg estate file #55618, Robert Erastus Spence, Archives of Manitoba.

Obituary [Mary Maude Spence],Winnipeg Free Press, 14 October 1961, page 48.

Obituary [Mary Louise Kemp],Winnipeg Free Press, 29 July 1998, page C6.

Obituary [Jean Spence],Winnipeg Free Press, 17 October 1999, page C6.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 27 October 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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