Virgil Harold Speer

Virgil Harold Speer

Virgil Harold Speer, son of Jessie Merritt and Edward Elmer Speer, passed away peacefully at the age of 94 years young on May 5, 2013. He was the youngest of six brothers and one sister, growing up on his family's lemon and orange ranch near Glendora, California and later in an orphanage during the Depression.

Before retiring from a long a career as an inspector for the Boeing Company in 1981, Virgil worked as a shoe salesman for Nordstrom, served in the Army during WWII, played baseball semi-professionally in California, and was on the survey crew of the Dominguez Water Company.

Assigned to Fort Lewis, he would play cards and shoot pool and used these winnings to travel to Seattle to court his future wife, Barbara.

During his golden years, he nearly daily attended the Kirkland Senior Center and later Bothell Adult Day Health. He enjoyed attending baseball and football games, and many performing arts shows such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera. He traveled frequently throughout the Northwest. Virgil was known for his wry sense of humor and love of living life.

He met his wife through his sister Virginia while all three attended the UW. Predeceased by a son, Wayne, his wife of 44 years, and a companion, Mildred Lanfear of Arlington, he is survived by son Dean Speer of Seattle, many nieces and nephews, and family friends.

One nephew recently said about him: "He was my Uncle, Grandfather, and playmate...I think the cherry tree in the back yard is my favorite interaction with my Uncle. He didn't supervise me from the ground, or even the first few branches. He was right there with me the whole way up. Climbing right beside me only stopping to tickle my ribs from time to time."

Gifts in his honor should be made to the Baby Island Beach Club [PO Box 1526, Langley, WA 98260], First Church of Christ, Scientist, Bellevue, or to .

Published in The Seattle Times on May 12, 2013