Hilda Adele Spence
Hilda Adele Spence
  • October 13, 1929 - March 3, 2017
  • River Ridge, Louisiana

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Dr. Hilda Adele Spence died peacefully in her home on March 3, 2017 surrounded by friends. She was born in Chattanooga, TN on October 13, 1929. She is preceded in death by her parents Lawrence Jackson and Hilda Evelyn Milligan Spence and her brothers Lawrence Spence, Jr. and Oliver M. Spence. She is survived by three nephews and one great nephew along with other family members and many friends, including Dr. Bettie M. Catchings.

Adele graduated from the University of Chattanooga where she was president of the Chi Omega Fraternity. She then graduated Charity Hospital School of Medical Technology, New Orleans. She was then instrumental in the formation of the LSU School of Medical Technology. Adele earned a PhD from LSU, New Orleans in Microbiology in 1971.

Dr. Spence joined the LSU faculty in 1959 and gave many years of service to the students, faculty, university, and her discipline. She taught students in all of their schools. Her research contributed to the knowledge of various strains of influenza, as well as other infections, including vibrio cholera. The Louisiana Board of Regents tapped her to work on Health Manpower Planning for the state.

A beloved faculty member, Dr. Spence was named Best-Pre-Clinical Professor. Her other honors include the Mendelshon Leadership Award, Kimble Medical Technology Research Award, ASMT Board of Directors Award, as well as being elected President of Alpha Mu Tau National Medical Technology Services Fraternity and being named Medical Technologist of the Year in Louisiana. She was also recognized by American Men and Women of Science and Who’s Who in American Women.

At the national level, she served on the Review Board and various committees of the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences Accreditation, the Board of Directors of the American Society for Medical Technology, the Coordinating Council for Clinical Laboratory Technologists, The Board of Trustees of the ASMT Education and Research Fund, the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Medical Technology, and as Representative to the Board of Schools of Medical Technology of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.

Special thanks to Dr. Cathi Fontenot, Passages Hospice, and TLC for their loving care. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Billy Graham Foundation or the charity of your choice.

A celebration of her life will be held at Jefferson Orleans South, 2536 Edenborn Ave, Metairie, LA 70002, at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, 2017.