Anse H. "Ed" SPEAIRS

SPEAIRS, Anse H. "Ed" (Colonel, U.S. Army - Retired) age 95, of Seminole, passed away April 25, 2013, a patriot & warrior to the end. He is survived by his sons, Thomas and Steven; granddaughter, Kelly; three great-grandchildren. He was married to Virginia Howell of Wilmington, DE, for 60 years before she passed in 2006. Ed was born in Durant, OK, and lived in Oklahoma City from 1920 to 1940, joining the Oklahoma National Guard as a private in 1938. His 45th Infantry Division was mobilized in September 1940. He received a direct commission as 2LT in Infantry just before Pearl Harbor and was assigned to the 157th Infantry Regiment, which made amphibious landings in Sicily in July 1943, Salerno in September, Anzio in January 1944 and southern France in August 1944. The unit liberated the infamous Dachau concentration camp just before the war ended in May 1945. The 45th was mobilized again in September 1950 and he commanded a battalion of the 179th Infantry Regiment in Korea. After assignments in Japan, Texas, Venezuela and Chicago, he served a year as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Army then served as the Inspector General at Ft. Dix, NJ. His military honors include 2 CIBs, the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, 2 Bronze Stars and 4 Purple Hearts. He retired in 1965 to enjoy a lifelong love of fishing, first in Beaufort, SC, then Florida from 1993 on. A memorial service will be held at Lake Seminole Square on Thursday, May 2nd, 10:30 am. Burial will be at Beaufort National Cemetery.

Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Apr. 30, 2013