Spero George Diamond

July 7, 1920March 29, 2014
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Spero George Diamond “Speed/Steve” Spero Diamond died peacefully at home on March 29, 2014 at the age of 93. He was born in Harrisburg in 1920 to the late George Diamond and Despina (Speliote) Diamond who were immigrants from Greece. As a youngster growing up in the city of Harrisburg, the neighborhood kids nicknamed him “Speed” because he was the fastest runner. After graduating from John Harris High School, he entered the Army Air Corp to serve in WW II. He later graduated from Shippensburg University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education and then achieved his Master’s Degree in Geography from Florida State University. His first job after graduating was as the teacher in a one room schoolhouse near Hershey. During the summer, he worked in construction and chose a career in home building. Over the years he built hundreds of homes in the Harrisburg area in developments such as Latshmere Manor, Sherwood Forest, and Sunnyland as well as the Georgetown Apartment complex. He prided in building a quality home at an affordable price. Health and fitness were cornerstones in his life. In high school and college he ran track and cross country. Running continued to be a pastime into his adult years. While a teenager, he was exposed to the game of tennis which became a lifelong passion, both as a player and a spectator. Before the days of indoor tennis courts, he and his friend would sweep snow off of the court so that they could play in the winter. He never smoked, never drank, and always warned not to do drugs, “That’s why they call it dope”!!! He was a member of The Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill, PA and helped in the transition from the original location on Walnut Street in Harrisburg to Camp Hill in 1970. He taught Sunday School to 4th graders for four decades. His talent was telling Bible stories in a way that captured their attention and admiration. He described teaching Sunday School as “the best job I ever had”. Later in life, he also attended Christian Life Assembly in Camp Hill, PA. He will be remembered as a kind and loving person who placed great importance on his faith and family. He exemplified the true American experience as a first generation immigrant who used sacrifice, a strong work ethic and self-reliance to achieve success.

He was predeceased by his brother Constantine (Charlie) in 1958 as the result of a plane crash. Surviving are his wife of 22 years Elizabeth (Light); his sister Toula Buhrman; his first wife Helen (Kaperonis) and their children George and wife Wendy, Stephanie and husband Chris Reese, and Thespina and husband Jon Spivey ; step-children Jeff Longenecker and fiancé Genny, Joyce and husband Jack Baker, Bruce Longenecker and wife Renee, Kevin Longenecker, and Jane and husband Michael Suter; 5 grandchildren, 5 step-grandchildren and one step-great grandchild as well and nieces and nephews. Visitation will be on Friday April 4 from 4-6 pm at the Neill Funeral Home, 3401 Market Street, Camp Hill. Funeral services will be held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1000 Yverdon Drive, Camp Hill on Saturday April 5 at 11 am with additional visitation starting at 10 am. Burial will be at Harrisburg East Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral or Christian Life Assembly.


Spero George Diamond

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April 10, 2014

Betty, you are in our thoughts and prayers. With deepest sympathy, Ted and Barbara Henry

Byron Fordham (STHS '77)

April 9, 2014

My sympathy and prayers go out to you and your family. Mr. Diamond obviously was a wonderful person and father for having such a wonderful son. Hang in there.

Paul Harclerode

April 8, 2014

While it has been 30-40 years since last seeing Speed... I have very fond memories of Speed playing tennis at Wm. Penn HS and playing with a whole bunch of equally honorable and professional men who loved to play tennis many, many enjoyable Summers and years. At that time, there was a bunch of we much younger learning-tennis enthusiasts who loved to play too and Speed always would accommodate playing us too. Those years in the 70's at the courts were Idyllic and Speed was a big part of our childhoods that made dozens of us not only Better Tennis Players, but Better People too by emulating all the Good Things that Speed represented as a Wonderful, Honorable Man.

holly shevenock

April 7, 2014

I didn't know Mr. Diamond personally, but have known his son, George, most of my life. Given the man that George is, I can see what a great influence and positive role model Mr. Diamond was for George. Reading the entries here, it is clear that Mr. Diamond had warmth and humor and love that touched many lives and is a wonderful legacy. They say that there are no pockets in a shroud and that the dead carry with them only what they have given away in life. Mr. Diamond gave much to so many. The world is a better place for having had him walk through it. My deepest sympathy to Mr. Diamond's family.

Dorothy Buhrman

April 7, 2014

One of my first recollections of my Uncle Speed was him putting a tennis racket in my hand and me thinking he was nuts if he thought I'd be running around a court chasing a ball. Years later tennis would be my favorite sport to "watch". As a kid I could not have had a better friend. He took me to the movies to see Haley Mills in "The Parent Trap', to Hershey Park, and wherever we decided to go. I loved his basement where he had workout equipment and barbells. He was fun! And as I grew older I appreciated my mother's and his relationship as brother and sister. What wonderful role models I had! I loved my uncle and he'll always have a place in my heart. He wasn't just a good man. He was a great man.

Chuck Shenck

April 4, 2014

My deepest sympathy goes out to Speed's family. I was a friend of Speed's since childhood and will deepy miss him. We had "many" happy memories together.

Gaye Liddick

April 4, 2014

My condolences to the family of Spero George Diamond.

I never met him, but when playing tennis with my father, Leslie Liddick, I often heard how “Speed was hard to beat.”, when they competed against each other in the city tennis tournaments as teenagers. My father, perhaps the teenage friend mentioned in the obituary, also often talked about sweeping off the clay courts at Reservoir Park, just up the street from his Walnut St. home, before play could begin.

Coincidently, my daughter was practicing at the Susquehanna Twp. High School courts when a tennis team rival showed up with her coach, “Speed“ Diamond. When she mentioned her last name was Liddick, he asked if she was related to Les Liddick, and she explained that he was her grandfather. “Speed” responded by telling her that she “stroked the ball like her grandfather”. This meant the world to her since she was too young when my father died to remember him.

April 2, 2014

i will miss speaking to him about lifes experieces my sympathies to the family Izzy

Candace & Curt Harris

April 2, 2014

To Betty and Family,
Our sincere sympathy in the loss of a godly man, devoted husband and honest business man. Mr. Diamond will be greatly missed here on earth. We know that his Father in heaven greeted him with, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant". Betty, you will be in our hearts and prayers.

David Kieffer

April 2, 2014

Betty and Diamond family:
Wishing you peace and strength in your time of sorrow -- a nicer, kinder, more sincere man has passed to a realm of love and beauty. God has welcomed Steve with open arms. Great empathy and sympathy for all. God bless.