University of Texas
George Baugh Spence
July 29, 1925–July 11, 2004



George Baugh Spence
(July 29, 1925– July 11, 2004)

Acknowledgment: David W. Spence, son of George Baugh Spence, has been an important contributor to this history. An oral history made by Thomas Reese Spence was transcribe by Chris Spence and was a source of much family information.

George Baugh and David William Spence

George Baugh Spence was the youngest son of Thomas Reese Spence (1895–1975) and Fay Baugh (1896–1967) Spence. His brother, David William, was three years his senior; they are shown at right. George was born in Dallas and graduated Stephen F. Austin High School in College Station in 1942. While visiting his grandfather's ranch in Eldorado, he met his future wife, Sarah Bush, when they were both two years old. Sarah was the daughter of Alvin Augustus (1889–1992) and Ruby Strickland (1893–1940) Bush. Sarah was born June 24, 1925 in Eldorado, Texas. Sarah's mother later married Leonard Logan Baugh, a rancher and brother of George's mother.

George and Sarah had three children, David Wendel, Trudy Lynn, and Christopher G. Baugh.

George Baugh Spence's Grandparents

David Wendel Spence

George attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, David Wendel Spence (b. Austin, TX, September 22, 1869–June 28, 1917), who received a civil engineering degree there, and who, in 1890 joined the Texas A&M faculty. In 1913, he became the Dean of Engineering. He served in that position until his premature death in 1917. Dean Spence is seen at left. ( Note, he had attended the Bickler Texas Academy for German and English in Austin for four years.




George Baugh Spence's Parents

Thomas Reese Spence

George's father, Thomas Reese Spence, followed in his father’s footsteps and was graduated from Texas A&M in Civil Engineering in 1913 and subsequently earned a master’s degree in Engineering from Cornell University in New York.  He held several excellent positions with companies in general construction, and road-building projects.  Later, he returned to A&M to be in charge of maintenance and construction of the extensive plant.  After retirement from this position he moved with his wife, Fay, to the ranch of her family near Eldorado, Texas.  Here he started a new career as a rancher, and once again, by using the scientific approach, he made a success in his new venture in the cattle and sheep business.  

Fay Baugh Spence

Fay Baugh, Reese’s wife, came from an old West Texas ranching family.  Unfortunately she developed tuberculosis early in life, but with Reese’s support and her own indomitable spirit plus medical advances in combating the ailment, she lived beyond her allotted three score years and ten and experienced great pleasure in her two sons and their families. Biographic sketches of both David W. and T. Reese Spence appear in the Centennial History of A&M published by the University Press in 1975.









George Baugh Spence Education and Professional Career

Sarah Bush (Spence) Oregon State Yearbook 1944

At Michigan, George played bass in the University of Michigan band. After one year of college, George volunteered for the army during WW II and served on the front lines with an infantry company of the 103rd Division in France, Germany, and Austria. See information below about George's service. After WW II, George returned to the University of Michigan, where he got a BSE (1949) in mathematics and an MS (1950) and PhD in physics. His 1957 dissertation was entitled, ""An Investigation in the Zone Theory of the Energy of Electrons in Metals." The work was theoretical study of Brillouin zones, with special regard to the question of the appearance of energy gaps. It had a bearing on the Jones-Hume-Rothery theory of the physical properties of binary substitutional alloys. The work was sponsored by the U. S. Air Force and carried out in the Engineering Research Institute under the direction of Professor Ernst Katz. Details of the dissertation are included at the end of this page. George's supervising professor, Ernst Katz was an especially interesting physics professor as the biography below illustrates.

Ernst Katz

Ernst Katz, PhD (1913–2009), was born in the Silesian region of what today is the Czech Republic. At the end of World War I, Ernst’s parents moved with their young family to the Netherlands and Dutch became his adopted mother tongue. At the age of sixteen in The Hague, he had his first encounter with Anthroposophy in the person of Dr. Zeylmans van Emmichoven. At twenty years of age, he spent two semesters in graduate school in Princeton University, New Jersey—his first encounter with life in the U.S. Back in Utrecht, he obtained his Master of Science in 1937, and in the years leading up to World War II was engaged in research in biophysics at the Rockefeller Institute at the University of Utrecht. He obtained his doctorate in physics on the very last possible day in 1941.

Ernst Katz received an invitation to join the faculty at the Physics Department of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he specialized in solid-state physics. He taught, conducted research, and published scientific articles for thirty-three years, until his retirement in 1980. He also taught interdepartmental credit courses in the university on various aspects of Rudolf Steiner’s work—likely the only professor in the U.S. at that time to teach courses in both natural science and spiritual science at the university level. 

Ernst Katz and his wife Katherine were instrumental in founding various anthroposophic initiatives in North America, especially in the Great Lakes area. Dr. Katz regularly wrote articles for anthroposophic periodicals, published a number of booklets (now contained in Core Anthroposophy), and was a frequent lecturer throughout North America and Europe on various topics related to Anthroposophy and science. He died at the age of ninety-six at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

Marriage to Sarah Francis Bush

George married Sarah Frances (Sally) Bush on April 7, 1948, in College Station, TX. Sarah had attended The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas and had received a BS in dietetics from Oregon State University. Sarah supported George as a hospital dietician during his graduate work. Their three children were born during their years in Ann Arbor.

From 1956 to 1960, George was an assistant professor of physics at the University of Texas. Jim Thompson reports, “He was an excellent teacher, particularly in some solid state classes.”

From 1960 to 1983, he worked for the Carbon Products Division of Union Carbide in Parma, Ohio, as a research scientist, group leader and senior group leader, where George did some of the pioneering research in carbon fiber composites. Some of George's papers are listed below. Paper 2 is a highly cited paper in the field of carbon fiber research.

1. G. B. Spence (1963) "Extended dislocation in the anisotropic elastic continuum approximation.", Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Carbon. American Carbon Society, Vol 11, Pergamon Press, New York, 1962, p. 53.

2. Blakslee, O. L., Proctor, D. G., Seldin, E. J., Spence, G. B. and Weng, T. , "Elastic constants of compression-annealed pyrolytic graphite", J. Appl . Phys., 41, p. 3373, 1970.

3. G. B. Spence, "Electron microscope studies of vacancy controlled processes in graphite." Wright Air Development Division Tech. Report No. 61-72 2 (1963).


Sally raised the children and worked as a hospital volunteer for many years. When Sally's cancer became terminal in 1983, George retired and brought her to his ranch in Texas for her last four months. She died Sep. 26, 1983, in Schleicher County, Texas.

After that, he carried on the Baugh family tradition of raising cows, sheep, and goats and doing extensive land conservation work. George was assisted on the ranch by his ranch manager and devoted friend Bill Dykstra, Bill's wife Lori, and their sons Alan and Kevin. On February 20, 1993,

George married Catherine Harris of San Angelo and they enjoyed their retirement years dividing their time between San Angelo and the ranch in Eldorado. from Catherine's obituary, "Catherine Harris Spence died Friday, Jan. 12, 2001, after a brief illness. She was born Mary Catherine Davis, daughter of Willie Susan Nichols and John Edward Hill Davis in Blum, Texas, on Oct. 29, 1907. During her long, full and productive life, Catherine had many accomplishments. During her young life, she was a milliner managing hat shops in Amarillo, Fort Worth and Waco. In 1935, she moved with her husband, Al C. Harris, to San Angelo, where he was manager of the J.C. Penney Store, and it was here they began their family. They were both active in many civic organizations and community affairs. They also became devoted members of the First Baptist Church. In 1959, Catherine founded the Gingerbread House Preschool and Kindergarten. She was its inspired director for more than 20 years, nurturing generations of young children with her firm guidance and her loving spirit. In 1983, she moved the school to its present location on Austin Street and subsequently sold it. In the last years, Catherine has been active in the San Angelo Symphony Guild, the Leading Ladies of San Angelo, and has been a leader of the Elizabeth Class of the First Baptist Church. Catherine was predeceased by her loving husband of 48 years, Al Harris. She is survived by her husband of seven years, George B. Spence, Eldorado rancher; and by her daughters and their husbands, Sue and Ray Bennett of Austin and Jo-Al and John Donovan of Galveston. They cherish the memories of their beautiful and spirited mother. She also is survived by seven grandchildren and their families, David and Ann Bennett; Jonathan and Jennifer of La Plata, Md.; Dr. Brian and Nancy Bennett, David, Diana, Christina and Anna of Red Bank, N.J.; Karen Bennet and Greg Tamayo, Joshua, Aaron, Benjamin and Andrew of Marietta, Ga.; Charles and Kate Bennett, Nicholas, Joseph and Daniel, of Austin; Mark Donovan of Albuquerque, N.M.; Harris and Leslie Donovan of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; and Tom and Kristine Donovan of Prescott, Ariz. She also is survived by her longtime, faithful friends, Wanda and Elmo Hudson; and by her caring helper, Alejandrina Garcia, all of San Angelo. Her lively faith, her high spiritedness and her positive attitude were examples to them all. Catherine was a loving and thoughtful friend and a gracious hostess. She loved beauty, she enjoyed traveling and she especially delighted in her home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she spent some of her happiest times. She loved her Lord, and she loved people. She was a blessing to all who knew her. The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 14, at Johnson's Funeral Home. Service will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15, in the First Baptist Church chapel with her son-in-law, the Rev. John C. Donovan, rector emeritus Trinity Episcopal Church, Galveston, and Dr. Jerold McBride and the Rev. Tom Martin of First Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will be in Fairmount Cemetery. Pallbearers will be her grandsons and Elmo Hudson. The family requests that memorials may be made to the San Angelo Symphony, VistaCare Family Hospice, the First Baptist Church Building Fund or the charity of choice."


George, age 78, died July 11, 2004, in Georgetown, Texas. He and Sarah are buried in Fairmont Cemetery, San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas, USA
Plot: Block 58, Lot 16

Information about George's military service during WWII with the 103rd Division:

TYPE OF DIVISION: Organized Reserve

NICKNAME: “Cactus” Division

HISTORY: The division was organized “on paper” in Nov. 1921, as an organized reserved unit, with headquarters in Denver, Colo. Personnel was to be drawn from New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.

ACTIVATION DATE: 15 November 1942.

INACTIVATION DATE: 22 September 1945, Camp Shanks, N. Y.

TRAINING UNDER ARMY GROUND FORCES: The division was activated at Camp Claiborne, La., and while at that station came successively under the IV, XV and III Corps of the Third Army. Between 20 Sept. and 15 Nov. 1943, it took part in the Third Army maneuvers held in Louisiana, and at the conclusion of maneuvers moved to Camp Houze, Texas where it passed to control of the X Corps, Third Army.


RETURNED TO U. S.: 18 September 1945

BATTLE CREDITS: (Division) Rhineland and Central Europe.

SUCCESSIVE COMMANDING GENERALS: Maj. Gen. Charles G. Haffner, Jr., from Nov. 1942 to Jan. 1945; Maj. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe from Jan. to July 1945; Brig. Gen. John N. Robinson from Aug. 1945 to inactivation.

COMPONENT UNITS: 409, 410 and 411th Inf Regts; 105 Cav Ron Tp (Mecs); 328 Engr Combat Bn; 328 Med Bn. Div Arty; 382, 385 and 928th FA Bns (105 how) and 384 FA Bn (155 how). Sp Tps: 105 QM Co, 103 Sig Co, 808 Ord Co (LM), Hq Co, MP Plat and Band.

COMBAT HIGHLIGHTS: The 103rd went into combat on 16 Nov. 1944, as one of the Seventh Army divisions which was assigned the task of driving through the Vosges Mountains. It tackled this job with zeal and within 11 days had battled through the Saverno Gap, fought across the Vosges Mountains and on into the Alsace Plain. Early in December 1944, the 411th Infantry Regiment of the division claimed to be the first unit of the Seventh to cross into Germany, the entry being made at Wissenbourgh. The enemy had plenty of strength left, however. When Von Rundstedt opened his winter offensive, the 103rd was one of the divisions which helped the Seventh Army carry out the job of covering two fronts, its own and that of the Third Army which had turned to thrust at the German flank. The enemy struck at the weakened American positions, and soon thrust the Seventh Army back to the Maginot Line and then on back to the Moder River. By mid-January, the German offensive had spent itself, but it took the 103rd, along with the rest of the Seventh Army, fully a month to recover from the pressure which had been exerted against it. In March 1945, the division was on the move again and quickly occupied Rothbach and crossed the Moder River. On 23 March, it captured Fresbach. In April, the division continued to roll ahead, and by the end of the month it was deep in southern Germany, having captured Mittenwald, not far from Innsbruck, capital of the Tyrel. On 4 May, the division entered Innsbruck and soon captured Brenner. At war’s end, the job of guarding the Brenner Pass went to the Cactus Division. Upon return to the U. S. in September the division was inactivated.

103d Division Association
Box 867
Baltimore, Maryland


George Baugh Spence Photo and Document Album

George B. Spence, Stephen F. Austin High School yearbook, Bronco, Bryan, Texas.
Senior photos, George is third from the top.
George B. Spence, Pan American Club, 1941, second row, third from right.Stephen F. Austin High School yearbook, Bronco, Bryan, Texas.
George B. Spence, SFA High School yearbook, Bronco, 1942, likely, fourth from right on back row in white shirt.
Mel Oakes note: While George B. Spence is listed as a member, I don't see him in the photo (there are 34 names mentioned and 32 students in photo), if someone does, please email me. I do see Eldon Sutton, right end of first row, who later became Vice-President of Research at the University of Texas at Austin. This picture is from Stephen F. Austin High School yearbook, Bronco, 1942, Bryan, Texas. (More about Eldon Sutton: Biologist University Michigan, 1952-1956, instructor, 1956-1957, assistant professor human genetics, 1957-1960. Associate professor zoology University Texas, Austin, 1960-1964, professor, 1964-1999, chairman department zoology, 1970-1973, associate dean Graduate School, 1967-1970, 73-75, vice president for research, 1975-1979, Ashbel Smith professor emeritus molecular genetics and microbiology, since 2000. Member advisory council National Institute Environmental Health Sciences, 1968-1972, council science advisory, 1972-1976.)
George B. Spence, U. of Michigan yearbook Michiganensian, 1949. second from left in second row from the top.
U. of Michigan Band, 1943, George Spence played bass and was on Formation Committee.
U. of Michigan Band, 1943, George Spence played bass and was on Formation Committee.

Sarah Bush, bottom row at left end. Class of 1943, Oregon State University, Beaver Yearbook, Kappa Alpha Theta


Sarah Bush, fourth row from bottom, second from left. Class of 1944, Oregon State University, Beaver Yearbook, Alpha Lambda Delta,
Scholatic Honor Society for Second Year Women
Sarah Bush, fourth from left, Class of 1946, Oregon State University, Beaver Yearbook, Kappa Alpha Theta
Sarah Bush, left end, Class of 1946, Oregon State University, Beaver Yearbook
Spence-Bush Wedding Announcement, from the Bryan (Texas) Eagle, April 10, 1948.
Proceedings of Fifth Conference on Carbon, Vol 2, Held at Pennsylvania State University, Pergamon Press,1963.
George Spence receiving Conservation Rancher Award, The Eldorado Success, March 21, 1991. George and his ranch manager, Bill Dykstra, are in the middle of the lower photo, George is on the left.
Spence Home in San Angelo

George Baugh Spence Dissertaion, 1956, University of Michigan


George B. Spence
This work is a theoretical investigation of certain general problems which occur in using the zone theory of the electron energy bands to determine the phase boundaries of those alloys agreeing with the Hume-Rothery electron concentration rules. There are four main objectives of the work. The first objective pertains to the possible existence of an energy gap at an electron concentration corresponding to the volume of the zone, often called the Brillouin zone, of an alloy structure. It is shown that an energy gap cannot exist for some zones because of what is here called a shape degeneracy. Shape degeneracies exist in those zones which cannot be constructed from an integral number of mappings of the unit cell of the reciprocal lattice of the alloy structure. A "mapping" of the unit cell is the division of the unit cell into sections, if necessary, and the translation of each section by a reciprocal lattice vector. Shape degeneracies exist, for example, in the zones of the 7-brass and P-manganese structures. The second objective is to obtain qualitative information about the energy surfaces in large zones by the correct use of the nearly-free-electron approximation. The main result here is that the electron energy surfaces in some large zones, for example, the 7-brass zone, are not qualitatively similar to the simple surfaces in the first zone of the conduction electrons of the noble metals. Because of the existence of shape degeneracies and the necessarily complicated nature of the energy surfaces in certain large zones, the volume of these zones cannot, as has been assumed up to now, be used to predict precisely the location of energy gaps or low dips in the density of states. The third objective is to solve accurately two simple numerical problems. The two- and three-dimensional problems are constructed from two one-dimensional Schrodinger equations with potentials of one and two cosine terms, respectively. The two-dimensional energy contours illustrate some of the complexities of the electron energies which occur in large zones. Accurate density of-states functions N(E) for the three-dimensional problems illustrate the type of structure which can occur in these functions and also show the effect on these functions of Brillouin zone planes, corresponding to weak cosine terms, which cut inside the large zone The fourth objective is to gain a better qualitative interpretation of the Hume-Rothery rules. The usual approximation is made that the change in the thermodynamic free energy with electron concentration n is due onlyto thechange in the total conduction electron energy U(n). It is shown that for typical phase boundary problems Ul(n) for phase one, instead of increasing relative to U2(n) as the zone is filled beyond the peak in N1(E), continues to decrease relative to U2(n) until that energy is reached at which the total number of electrons are equal in the two phases. This shows that the positions of the phase boundaries cannot be accurately predicted theoretically from the electron concentration corresponding to the peak in the density of states. Other results of this investigation suggest that N(E) and U(n) are determined primarily by the geometrical shape of the zone and hence should be about the same for different alloys with the same structure. It follows from this that the same phases of the different alloy systems should occur at the same electron concentrations.




2.l. Physical Reason for Zones
2. 2. Brillouin Zones
205. Other Extended Zone Schemes
2e.4 Jones Zones
31oo Directional, Symmetry, and Accidental Degeneracies
3.2. Shape Degeneracies
3535 Possible Omission of Certain Planes Forming Zone Boundaries
4.l. One-Dimensional Equation and Dimensionless Variables
4.2. Analytical Solutions
435. Numerical Problems
5.1. Energy Contours
5.2~ Nearly-Free-Electron Approximation
5.5. Density of States
6.1. Energy Surfaces
6.2. Density of States
6.3. Joneses Approximation to the Density of States
7.1. Continuity Properties of the Total Energy of the Electrons
7.2. Total Electron Energy for the (200) Jones Zone
7.3. Remarks on the Interpretation of the Hume-Rothery Rules
B.1. The K-Expansion
B.2. The a 1/4-Expansion
B.3. The a 1l-Expansion
B.4. Comparison with the Results of Ince
C.l. The Hexagonal Close-Packed Structure
C.2. The 7-Brass Structure
C.3. The 3-Manganese Structure


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