Memory Hold The Door
Floyd Davidson Spence (1929–2001)
Floyd Davidson Spence, Sr. was born on April 9, 1928 in Columbia, South Carolina and died on August 16, 2001. He graduated from Lexington High School where he achieved “All-State” honors in football and participated in the 1947 Shrine Bowl Game. Floyd Spence went to the University of South Carolina on an athletic scholarship and graduated in 1952. While attending the University, he was elected President of the Student Body. He was also named to the Dean’s List and received the Algernon-Sydney Sullivan Award. Upon graduating from college, he received a commission as an Ensign in the Navy and served on active duty during the Korean conflict.
Congressman Spence attended the University of South Carolina Law School and graduated in 1957. He commenced the practice of law with the law firm of Callison and Spence until 1970 in West Columbia, South Carolina.
Congressman Spence served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1956 to 1962 and served in the South Carolina Senate from 1966 to 1970 where he was Minority Leader.
In 1970, Congressman Spence was elected to the United States House of Representatives to represent South Carolina’s Second Congressional District which he served with distinction for 30 years. He was Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Armed Services at the time of his death.
Congressman Spence was a member of Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church where he was a Sunday School teacher and was on the Advisory Board of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, He was also very active in the Boy Scouts of America. Congressman Spence served as a Scoutmaster and Council Executive Board Member. He was the recipient of the “Silver Beaver Award.”
In 1978, he was awarded the “Order of the Palmetto,” South Carolina’s highest honor, by Governor James B. Edwards. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from The Citadel on May 13, 1995 and received the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service from the University of South Carolina on August 12, 1995. On September 3, 1996, The Floyd Spence Wing of the Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Facility was dedicated in his honor. On November 4, 1996, the Congressman Floyd D. Spence United States Army Reserve Center was dedicated in his honor at Fort Jackson.
Congressman Spence was the recipient of a successful double-lung transplant on May 6, 1988, and a successful kidney transplant on May 26, 2000. He actively supported organ donor awareness programs.
Congressman Spence was married to the late Lula Hancock Drake Spence and they had four sons: Floyd Davidson Spence, Jr., Zachariah William Spence, Benjamin Dudley Spence and Caldwell Drake Spence, Sr. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Williams Spence, and nine grandchildren.