Iris Spence

On January 25, Iris Spence passed away in the Billing Clinic ICU surrounded by her daughters and grandchildren at the age of 88. 

Iris was born in Baker, MT to Henry and Bertha Annin Zabel. She grew up three miles north of Ismay and went to grade school in Ismay until the 7th grade. Her family then moved to the Kinsey project in 1940. She went to 7th and 8th grades at Kinsey and she graduated from Custer County High School in the spring of 1946. In the fall of 1946, she went to work for the telephone company and worked there for seven years.

In March of 1952, she married Thomas Hanson and to this union were born, Karen and Rebecca, who gave her much joy and were a blessing to her. Tom and Iris moved to the ranch at Cohagen in 1953 where she lived for 42 wonderful years. Tom passed away in 1980 and she stayed on the ranch until 1993.

In 1984, she married William Spence and they worked on the ranch together. In 1993, they purchased a home in Miles City where they lived until Bill passed away in 2011. She lived close to Becky and Karen so she had much love, help and care. In 2013, she moved to a duplex close to Becky and her family and enjoyed having her extended family close. She cooked many meals to gather the families together. She was very thankful, grateful and loved for all their time spent together, especially the jelly canning with Jennifer Chamberlin and her family. 

She had great moments with her grandsons and granddaughter when they were young and while they were growing up. She enjoyed her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren participating in 4-H, high school rodeos, (her girls each won an all-around saddle & qualified for the High School National Finals), basketball and other sports. She played basketball in all four years of high school and was co-team captain her senior year.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her two husbands, her sister Alice Stickney, her brother Dale Zabel, her brothers-in-law Kenton Stickney, Floyd (Smokey) Hanson and James Carter, her sister-in-law Lilly Van Zant, step-grandson Charles Gus Glasscock IV.

Iris is survived by her two daughters Karen (Gus) Glasscock of Fromberg, Becky (Ron) Stanton of Miles City, step-son Ron (Wendy) Spence of Billings, step-daughter Carrie (Tom) Shaughnessy of Victor. She is survived by grandchildren Scott (Traci) Glasscock, Vonnie Glasscock, Wayne Berry, step-grandchildren Elizabeth (Tim) Moore, Kathy (Danny) Wright, JD (Delene) Glasscock, Jennifer (Kanyon) Chamberlin, Wendy (Ryan) Larson, Renee (Derek) Hepper, Joshua Stanton, Becky (Nate) Kortum, AJ (Courtney) Spence, Erin (Michael) Moots, Ashley (Britton) James, Kaitlyn (Austyn) Venema, Tyler (Lexi) Shaughnessy, and several great-grandchildren. She is survived by a cousin Audrey Watts, sister-in-law Peggy Carter of Chester, special niece Susan Newell, special nephews Steve (Jan) Stickney, and Mike (Karla) Hanson and special friend Sue Stanton.

Her life was good and she lived it to the fullest and lived it well. She said “I had many chapters in my life so will close the cover and move on.”

Iris received great joy in watching her great-grandchildren playing sports and singing in their choirs and other activities. She enjoyed going to church, the church members and the little ones at church. 

Her life was good and she lived it to the fullest and lived it well.