Roger passed away peacefully at his Coquitlam home with three children at his side. He was born in
Yakima, Washington, in USA, He attended the St. Georges residential school from 1951- 1963 in Lytton.
He lived his life in Alberta, Washington, Utah, Spences Bridge, Terrace, Vancouver, before settling in
Roger Spence is an Elder and member of the People of Pukaist in unceded territory of Nlaka’pamux
people. The nation itself overlaps with the Secwepemc, Stl’atl’imc, Coast Salish, Okanagan, Puget Sound
Salish, and Columbia-Wenatchi but is not defined by a Canadian or USA border. The People of Pukaist
recognize their distinct community and lands to this day, something Roger Spence strongly believed in.
Throughout his life Roger worked as a firefighter, construction worker, alcohol and drug councillor, and
an x-ray technician. Later, he trained as Psychiatric Nurse and worked as a Forensic Psychiatric Nurse at
Colony Farms in Coquitlam until his retirement.
After the years spent in residential school, he graduated from Kumsheen Secondary School, in 1963.
During these years, an educational path was difficult for many of his peers yet, he continued to Grade
13. Roger enjoyed listening to music of all genres and was an avid listener of music from the 1950’s to
1990’s. He was interested in movies and enjoyed a variety of titles and categories. A self-taught artist,
Roger was creative in Native Art and gave many pieces of work to friends and family, although he
humbly spoke of this talent, it was evident he had a gift. His love of his hobbies was shared during visits
with his son Luke, where he could openly share his knowledge on music, movies and spirituality.
Roger is survived by his sisters, Maylie Podlasly (Wong), Lorraine Spence, Vera Massicotte and Louisa
Celesta (Eddie); daughters, Nadine Spence, Joanna McCarthy; Sons, Peter Spence (Charlene), and Luke
Spence. He has seven Grandchildren and four Great Grandchildren, He also leaves to cherish his memory
many of his nieces and nephews, cousins, and numerous friends.
Roger is predeceased by his mother: Eileen Spence (Albert), father: Peter Spence (Lulu); brothers: Allan
Wong (Albert), Frank Spence, Cyril Spence, and Gary Spence; Children daughter Leanne Spence and son
On April 9, 2020, a final viewing was held in Port Coquitlam BC with a close family and friends. Roger will
be brought home to his beloved nation to rest beside his parents in Spences Bridge, BC. He will have a
full service and burial to be announced later. Those who wish to keep updated and to share memories of
Roger are welcome to join the public Facebook page called ‘Final Wishes of Roger Spence.’ The Spence
family would like to express their heartfelt thank you and gratitude to those who have shared and
expressed their condolences to the family at this time.
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