Landscapes 13

John Spence

October 20, 1952 ~ February 3, 2022 (age 69)


John Spence passed away on February 3, 2022, with no regrets and at peace with his big beautiful life.

Born in Sioux City Iowa on October 20, 1952, he grew up in the Binghamton area along with his brother Jeff, made memories with his grandparents on their Castle Creek Farm and later moved to New York City to attend Cooper Union and receive his BFA in Art.

If you asked a hundred people who John was, they’d all give you a different story: he was a community activist, a ukelele player, a kite maker, a jewelry designer, a gin rummy card shark, a mountain climber, a gardener, a kayaker, and a visual artist; he was Johnny B Goode. His love for the outdoors, art and music was only surpassed by the love he had for his family and friends and his feisty pups Luna & Gizmo. He was an exceptional father to Sarina, a wonderful Pa John to his grandchildren, Jack, Avery and Finn. He met the love of his life, Carol, 50 years ago when they were both art students at SUNY Cortland.

Carol and John enjoyed their travels to visit family in Santa Barbara and Puerto Vallarta, annual beach escapes to Narragansett and magical times in Santa Fe and Italy. Birthday parties were legendary with the usual suspects: good food, good stories and good friends.

John’s caring spirit and generous heart could be felt by anyone he came in contact with over his years of non-profit work at the SPCA of Tompkins County, Better Housing for Tompkins County and Community Arts Partnership. He was smart, funny, creative, compassionate, and cool, all at the same time. Rest in Power & Light.

He was preceded in death by his parents John Alden Spence II and Kathleen Deyo Brady; brother in law Carl Romeo; and cousin David Brady.

John is survived by his wife Carol Spence; daughter Sarina (Dan) Sullivan; grandchildren Jack, Avery, Finn; brother Jeffrey (Lisa Harris) Spence; niece Sarah (Craig) Kitchner; brother in law James (Christine D’Arco) Romeo; niece Crissy (Sam) Compton; nephew Joey (Julia Dimon) Romeo and cousins Alison (Paul) Beikirch and Jennifer (Dwayne) Dennison.

A Celebration of John's life will be held later in the year.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Cancer Resource Center of The Finger Lakes, 612 W. State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 or visit

A toast from John: “Love each other, do your best and have fun!”

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Spence, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of John Spence
© 2022 Ness-Sibley Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility