LAKE PLACID - Alexander P. Spence, Ph.D., 82, of Willoughby, died Jan. 6, 2012, at his residence surrounded by family.
Born April 5, 1929, in Jennings, Mo., to William G. and Mildred (nee: Perkins) Spence, he had lived in Cortland for more than 45 years prior to moving to Breckenridge Village retirement community in Willoughby, Ohio six years ago. Alex was a Corpsman in the U.S. Navy, serving as a medic for the Marines during the Korean War. While serving in Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii, he met Marion Torrance of Lake Placid, an Army nurse, and remained devoted to her the rest of his life. They were married on May 21, 1955, in Lake Placid.
Alex was a professor of biology for State University of New York at Cortland, serving as chairman and retiring in 1992. During his time as a professor, Spence authored two books: "Basic Human Anatomy" and "Biology of Human Aging." He also co-authored "Human Anatomy and Physiology." Since then, the books have had multiple editions, and "Human Anatomy and Physiology" has been published in French and Portuguese. Alex was well-loved by his family, who cherish many memories of days spent sailing on Cayuga Lake, backpacking in the Adirondacks, and numerous family vacations and adventures.
He leaves his beloved wife Marion (nee: Torrance) Spence of Willoughby, Ohio; daughters: Carol (Chuck) Tuttle of Chardon, Ohio, and Cynthia (Matthew) Hutcheson of Coudersport, Pa.; son, Mark (Stephanie) Spence of Midland, Mich.; seven grandchildren: Katie and Jenni Tuttle, Sarah and Alex Hutcheson, Brian, Tori and Lisa Spence; and his brother, William P. (Bettye) Spence of Pinehurst, N.C.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Adirondack Community Church in Lake Placid. The Rev. John Martin officiated.
The M. B. Clark Funeral Home in Lake Placid was in charge of arrangements.