Cover photo for Alyce Elaine Spence Mcdowell's Obituary
Alyce Elaine Spence Mcdowell Profile Photo
1924 Alyce 2021

Alyce Elaine Spence Mcdowell

October 25, 1924 — January 3, 2021

Mrs. Alyce Elaine Spence McDowell, born, October 25, 1924, was the second child of the late Reverend Samuel R. Spence and the late Mrs. Fannie L. Spence. From an early age she was a very active church worker as a member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee, pastored by her father for 35 years, before his retirement in 1976.

A graduate of Howard High School, Mrs. McDowell, affectionately known as mother, mom, mom mac, grand ma’dear and grandmia grew up in a loving, Christian home with three sisters and one brother.

In 1943, Alyce married her childhood sweetheart, Thomas A. McDowell, Sr. After his tenure in the United States Army, Mr. McDowell brought his wife to Nashville where they became members of Spruce Street Baptist Church, in 1945. During the course of years, they became parents of three children, Evanda Alexis, Tanya Renee, and Thomas Jr. (Champ).

After arriving to Nashville, she attended National Baptist Training School to become a missionary, but, she later transferred to Tennessee State University. There she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with honors, in 1963. Afterwards she was hired as a teacher at Providence School and was later transferred to Haywood Elementary School. She was one of the first to integrate the elementary schools in the Metropolitan Public School system. She remained at Haywood for fourteen years until her retirement on disability in 1977.

“Aunt Alyce” was a devoted wife for 35 years until her devoted “Tommy” departed this life in 1979. In spite of physical limitations, she found strength in the work of the church: such as helping to prepare the noon prayer luncheons, and delivering food to the sick and shut ins. She also worked as a volunteer at the Second Harvest Food Bank at Progressive Baptist Church, and the Upper Room. Alyce was a faithful member of Nashville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Imperial Coterie Club, Board of Directors of South Street Community Center, NAACP, and Tennessee State Alumni Association. Mrs. McDowell, as a devoted wife, loving mother, and ardent church worker was an example of stalwart, strength, and quiet humility. For these reasons, she was selected as mother of the year, at Spruce Street Baptist Church in 1982.

On Sunday, January 3, 2021, Mrs. Alyce Elaine Spence McDowell answered the Master’s call and entered full Eternal Life. In addition to her father and mother, she was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas A. McDowell, Sr., her son, Thomas A. McDowell, Jr., and her daughter Tanya McDowell-Black: siblings, Arthur Spence, Sammye Ruth Spence Montgomery, Robert L. Spence and Pauline Spence Miller.

She leaves so many loved ones to cherish her sweet memories: included are devoted daughter and care giver, Evanda McDowell; grandson, Hemerd M. Black (Autumn) New York, NY; granddaughter, Magnita S. Black, Nashville, TN; sister, Josephine S. Kelley, Chattanooga, TN; sister-in-law Alice B. Spence, Memphis, TN. Extended family; Gwen Smith, Nashville, TN, Akim Diomandé (Aminata), Saly, Kiata, Maimouna, Adams, and Junior, All of Nashville; great grandchildren, David Michael, Asa Jacob, Josiah Isaac, Jehoshaphat Isaiah and Puah Black, New York, NY; cousin, Fannie Wynn (Kenneth),Tampa, FL; cousin, Betty Jinks, Atlanta, GA; nieces and nephews: Sandra M. Tudos, St. Thomas, USVI, Karen L. Miller Tatum (Cornell) Tuskegee, AL, Roslyn Spence, Chattanooga,TN, Harold Wayne Spence (Cynthia) Atlanta GA ,Samuel R.S. Montgomery (Karen), Philadelphia, PA, Paula J. Evans, Memphis, TN, Robert L.J. Spence, Jr. (Dorchelle), Memphis, TN, Reginald Spence, Baltimore, MD, Rhonda Spence, Memphis, TN, Courtney Evans, Atlanta, GA, Kenneth Wynn, Enterprise, AL, Deborah Wynn, Wanda Wynn, Micheal Wynn (Tammy) All of Tampa; godson, Joseph Martin Stevenson of Madison, MS, and many other relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Thomas A. McDowell, Sr. Scholarship fund, Spruce Street Baptist Church, 504 Spruce Street, Nashville, TN 37203.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alyce Elaine Spence Mcdowell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Walk Through Visitation

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Spruce Street Baptist Church

504 Spruce St, Nashville, TN 37203

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