Christian 04

Spence Watts Grayson

January 15, 1946 ~ November 20, 2022 (age 76) 76 Years Old


Spence Watts Grayson, 76, of Richardson, TX passed away on November 20, 2022. He was surrounded by his two daughters. The son of Clifford Spence Monroe Grayson and Maud Georgette Watts Grayson, he was born January 15, 1946, in New York, NY, and was raised in Port Washington, Long Island but attended boarding school in the Northeast for his secondary years.

Spence grew up playing with his dog, Gette, playing various sports, going to the beach, being a member of Boy Scouts, and playing in the nearby Port Washington woods. He was a 1965 graduate of Marvelwood School in Kent, CT, and he played football, squash, and ice hockey while there. He then attended Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA where he earned a B.A. in Sociology in 1969. Spence obtained his master's degree in Social Work from Kansas University, KS in 1976 and a teaching certificate from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 1973.

He met his future wife, Martha G. Mahlke, during their freshman year of college, and they enjoyed taking college coursework together including some art classes. He drove Martha on many dates in his beloved Pontiac GTO convertible. He was also a member of the New York Social Registry, and through that, he and Martha attended many dances and balls in NYC. Spence and Martha were married on August 30, 1969, and relocated to Kansas City, MO where he worked as a social worker for a county agency and local hospital. He also served in the National Guard in the state of Kansas. Spence became a father to Anne Elizabeth in 1974 and Marlene Patricia in 1977.

The Grayson family relocated to Richardson, TX in 1979. Spence worked as an upper elementary school teacher for Dallas ISD for a few years and as a medical social worker for home health, skilled nursing, and hospice organizations. He spent most of his professional career working as a medical social worker at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. He found his job at Parkland especially rewarding and loved supporting his patients in any way he could. While there, he opened a clothes closet for needy patients and partnered with his wife, Martha, to supply it. She shopped at garage sales in order to stock it.

In his free time over the years, Spence enjoyed playing tennis and golf, bowling, playing Bridge and chess, performing magic tricks, telling jokes, painting, and singing. He was always complimented on his singing by the church congregation and was encouraged to join the church choir in which he participated for a short time. He and Martha enjoyed going to the movies and watching old movies and TV shows together. Because they also both loved plays and musicals, they volunteered at a local theater to see as many as possible. They also enjoyed dancing, and Spence often tagged along with Martha and participated in pursuing her own interests as well.

The Christian religion was important to the Graysons, and the family attended Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches over the years. He participated in men’s Bible studies over the years and most recently a men’s Bible study at Woodcreek Church for several years. He also served in prison ministry and shared Jesus with inmates. For many Decembers in his adult life, Spence took on the role of playing Santa at many holiday parties and events and really enjoyed sharing Christmas cheer this way. Spence cared about his loved ones more than himself and was only happy when everyone he cared about was happy. Martha struggled with chronic health disease throughout their marriage, and Spence almost always was a source of encouragement and comfort to her. He loved Martha and his daughters well. He gave big hugs, cared well, offered comfort when needed, and made his family smile with his funny sayings and jokes. His daughters gave him a hard time mixing up their names their entire lives, and it became quite the family joke.

Spence’s greatest love though was his Lord Jesus Christ. He sought Jesus fervently over his adult life, studied the Bible, prayed, and sought opportunities to share Jesus with others. He was baptized in 2005 at Prestonwood Baptist Church. He was especially fond of a Christian poem, “One Solitary Life”, by Dr. James Allan (1926), and often shared that with others.

Spence was preceded in death by his wife, Martha; brother-in-law, Mark E. Mahlke; father, Clifford S.M. Grayson; mother, Maud G. Grayson; father-in-law, Elmer F. Mahlke; and mother-in-law, Doris J. Mahlke. He is survived by his sister, Maud P. Grayson; daughters, Anne E. Marden and Marlene P. Kennedy; sons-in-law, Kyle D. Marden and Richard “Brad” Kennedy; grandchildren: Avery T. Marden (18), Ethan G. Marden (15), Sawyer E. Marden (12), Taylor B. Kennedy (12), and Grayson E. Kennedy (9), and brother-in-law, Dave E. Mahlke.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Woodcreek Church by clicking the below link.


Celebration of Life
December 7, 2022

1:00 PM
Woodcreek Church
3400 E. Renner Road
Richardson, TX 75082


Woodcreek Church
3400 E. Renner Road, Richardson TX 75082


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