The Fence Post obituary: Earl E. Speer |

The Fence Post obituary: Earl E. Speer

Earl E. Speer, 93

Aug. 8, 1924 – Aug. 6, 2018

Grand Island, Neb.

Earl E. Speer, 93, of Grand Island passed away Aug. 6, 2018, at Park Place Care Center.

Earl was born Aug. 8, 1924, at Bayard, Neb., to Edgar (Lee) and Wilhelmena (Meidlinger) Speer. He grew up in the Bayard area and graduated from the Bayard school system in 1942. He worked with his father in the painting and contracting business prior to joining the United States Army Air Corps on Jan. 8, 1944, where he served on crews of B-17 bombers as a gunner and radio operator. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant on May 17, 1946.

Following his service he worked at farming with his sister, Ethel, and her husband, Chester. He was also a radio dispatcher for the Nebraska State Patrol. At this time, Earl met the love of his life, Dema Bennett. They were married June 10, 1950, at Alliance, Neb. Following their marriage they made their home in Broadwater, Neb. He worked for Maddox Motors in Sidney, Neb., as a mechanic, and then in the inspection department at the Sioux Ordnance Depot. He transferred to the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant in Grand Island in 1966, working there as chief of quality control until retiring in 1979. After retirement he worked in the maintenance department at the Interstate Holiday Inn until finally retiring in 1999. He was very handy at nearly any mechanical, electrical, or building project, and enjoyed teaching these skills.

Over his years he served as Fire Chief for the Broadwater Fire Department, on school boards, church councils and coached little league baseball. He was a member of the American Legion, NRA, and Grand Island Rifle Club. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, reading, and spending time with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and his dog Shadow.

Earl is survived by his wife of 68 years, Dema; sons, Terry (LuAnne) Speer, Jerry (Cathy) Speer, Mark (Deena) Speer; grandchildren, Chris (Amy) Speer, Joe Speer, Jeff (Alex) Speer, Sam Speer, Ivie (Myles) Butt, and Jordanne (Brandon) McNeff; great-grandchildren, Kylie, Mya, Ollie Speer, Khloe McNeff, and Gable Butt; brothers, Don, Glenn (Charlene); brother-in-law, Ted Meter; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Joe, Roy, and Lawrence; sisters, Helen Covalt, Ethel Fetters, Wilma Downing, Beulah York, Evelyn Gingrich, Betty Meter, and half-sister Eunice Krause.

Memorial services were Aug. 11, 2018, at Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Mike Schaaf officiating. Burial of Ashes will be in the Central City Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the family to be designated at a later date. Online condolences may be directed to

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