Roy W. Spence, businessman

Roy W. Spence, a businessman who founded a Baltimore bus company and was an active churchman, died Saturday of complications from internal bleeding at Northwest Hospital.

The Pikesville resident was 84.

Born and raised in Camden, N.C., Mr. Spence attended public schools until he was forced to drop out to help support his family as a farm and mill worker after his father became ill.

His family moved in 1948 to Delaware and two years later to Baltimore. Mr. Spence worked as a truck driver for Yale Transport and later the old Silber's Bakery.

He was married in 1955 to Bessie L. McCluthen.

In 1965, Mr. Spence established the A.S. Midway Trailways Baltimore Limousine Rental and Travel Co. on Baker Street, where his wife served as the company's secretary and treasurer.

He retired in 2004 from the company, which is now located in Northwest Baltimore.

"It was the first black-owned bus company in Baltimore," said a son, Al Spence of Randallstown, who now owns and operates the company, which specializes in providing transportation for celebrities and entertainers.

Mr. Spence joined the Rehoboth Church of God Apostolic Church in 1965, and a decade later, joined the First United Church of Jesus Christ.

He had served as vice president of the deacon and usher boards. He had been president of the men's department and president of the National Men and Brotherhood Fellowship.

Mr. Spence had been ordained a church elder and overseer, and had chaired the church's transportation and kitchen committees.

In 1989, he and his wife founded Christ Temple Holiness Church, an apostolic church on Baker Street, where they served as pastors.

At his death, Mr. Spence was serving as the Mid-Atlantic Diocesan Bishop for Word Harvest International, which is under the direction of another son, James L. Spence of Raleigh, N.C.

"He loved to fish, but his real work was with the church," said Al Spence.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Transformation Church of Jesus Christ, 5150 Baltimore National Pike.

In addition to his wife and two sons, Mr. Spence is survived by another son, Leonard Spence of Baltimore; three daughters, Ella Barcliff of Elizabeth City, N.C., Thelma Winn of Pikesville and Drusilla Carmichael of Charlotte, N.C.; two brothers, Clyde Spence of Laurel and Norman Spence of Clinton; three sisters, Maxine Ball of Baltimore, Catherine Mercer of Philadelphia and Consta Williams of Charlotte; 26 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Another son, William Spence, died in 2005.

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad