Gary was born in and grew up in Casper, Wyoming. He went to college at Yale University and graduated in 1973 with a double degree in Political Science and Sociology. He was an extremely fortunate beneficiary of a Yale financial aid policy seeking geographic and economic diversity for its student body. A kid with little money from Casper, Wyoming fit the criteria and he has been grateful for the experience ever since.
He returned to University of Wyoming Law School and graduated in 1976. Though he loved the Yale educational experience, he knew he wanted to live in and help people in Wyoming. He didn't love law school but had the good fortune to work with lawyers as a student. He learned that being a lawyer was much better than being a law student. He started working as a public defender in Casper, Wyoming and moved to Jackson, Wyoming in 1979.
Along the way, he met Dona and was married in 1979. They have had more than their share of joys and tribulations in 30 years of marriage. They lost their first son Sean as an infant. Amber their daughter is the proud owner of a pet store in Oregon, Jeremy their son is finishing college, as is Kimby their youngest daughter. Two grandchildren are among their blessings, ages 4 and 1.
Gary has spent most of his adult years trying to be a good father, husband, lawyer and an improved person. He has had successes and failures in all respects.
Along with family, friends and work. Gary loves dogs, animals, anything outdoors, and new, varied experiences. An older friend once said the problem with aging was doing too many things for the last time and not enough for the first. Gary keeps that in mind.
Gary has also served on several civic and community boards, including the Jackson Hole Alliance for Responsible Planning, the Teton Science School, the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association and the Casper Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. He is very proud of the work he did many years ago to get a community recreation center established in Jackson.
Gary spends up to half of his time on the road for work. He has helped people from Florida to Pennsylvania to Washington and California and many points in between.
Gary and Dona split their home life between Jackson, Wyoming and Portland, Oregon. As circumstances led all three of their kids to Oregon, they followed. Home in Jackson is beautiful but remote, it is good for Dona to be near the family while Gary is working.
Gary has represented injured people and folks charged with crimes for over 30 years, most of them with what is now known as The Spence Law Firm. He is now working on his own, but often teams up with others. His cases give him vicarious experiences in everything from how to run an oil rig to complex scientific and medical problems. He only represents people, never insurance companies or huge corporations.
Gary has had mostly successes and a few failures. Through it all, his goal has been to work with his clients as people and not "cases," and his desire is to continue that way.