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Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home
4800 East Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-5600

Herbert Alfred Speerstra


1926 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Herbert Alfred Speerstra Obituary
Speerstra, Herbert Alfred
87 of Phoenix, Arizona passed away peacefully on February 15, 2014. He was born November, 1926 in Saginaw Michigan to Alfred and Beatrice Speerstra. As a youth, Herb was an athlete, playing on many of the school teams, and as a businessman kept a large paper route. During his senior year at Saginaw High, Herb preferred track, becoming the fastest man in the state of Michigan in the 1/4 mile; that distinction won him a scholarship to Michigan State University. Once the football coaches saw his speed and talent, his track days were over and he was now the starting Halfback on the Michigan State Spartans football team. This gained him a better scholarship and housing, and Herb became a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. Prior to his senior year he was shipped off to Germany as an Army corporal with the supply unit and to play football to entertain the troops. After the service Herb returned to Michigan State and became starting end and played during the first year of the "BigTen". He met his first wife, Barbara Tuttle that year and after graduation they married and moved to Adrian Mi. where he worked for the HW Tuttle Company . He continued his education, attending the Executive Development Program at Indiana University. In Adrian, he met the love of his life Betty, relocating and marrying in Scottsdale in 1959. Upon restarting in Arizona he began selling real estate; first homes, then lots in Paradise Valley; eventually commercial properties. In 1967 he was hired away from real estate to manage a new AMD semiconductor plant in Phoenix. In 1969 the plant closed. Not wanting to relocate, he took over management, and later invested in a small, local, plastic machine manufacturer, Harco Industries. In 22 years he lead Harco to become the dominate entity in "Campus Wide Card Systems"; the company was purchased by AT&T. Through his own company, Aztec International, Herb traveled the world, brokering plastics, attending financial seminars and collecting fine wine. For many years, Herb and Betty spent late summer months in Campione, Italy. He was a vestry member during founding of the Saint Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church, a member of Thunderbird Rotary, a Plaza Three model and a longtime member of the Paradise Valley Country Club. He is predeceased by his wife Betty Speerstra. He is survived by 4 children; Peter Speerstra, Kim Loyd, Madeline Wade Tucker (Michael), Gene Olsen (Dawn Nagle); 4 grandchildren Lauren Olsen, Christopher Wade, Audrey Mehler (Matt), Libby Loyd; 1 great grandchild, Kinley Mehler and by his sister Bess Means (Sonny) of Adrian Mi. Herb will have his final resting place next to Betty at Saint Barnabas on the Desert Memorial Gardens. A visitation will be held at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, Tuesday March 4th, from 4-7pm, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix.


Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 2, 2014
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