Juliana Phelps Speth
January 6, 1949 – June 16, 2019
Juliana Phelps Colombo Speth, 70, died peacefully on Sunday, June 16 at her daughter’s home in Colorado Springs, Colorado surrounded by her loving family.
Julie was born Jan. 6th, 1949 in St. Louis, Missouri to Mario “Mike” Luiano and Dorothy “Dottie” Phelps Colombo. She grew up there and married Rick Speth, her childhood sweetheart, also of St. Louis. Together they had three beautiful children, Patti, Jeff and Ricky. Julie was a loving and devoted mother, and later became a Licensed Practical Nurse with a career that spanned 30 years. She moved to Colorado in 2002 to be near to Patti’s family and to help raise her granddaughter Haley. Julie was a very kind and deeply faith-filled woman who always thought of others first. She was a fun grandma and second “Mama” to Susan Hoskins and Alexandra Mertz, and second “Grandma” to Alicia and Brock Robbins. Julie showed strength, courage and grace in the face of grave illness until the day she died. Her gift in life was her gift of love and compassion and giving of herself to others in need. The most important thing to her was family unity and she prayed for it daily.
Julie often shared cherished memories of her childhood. One she often spoke of was when she spent the night at Grandma Maria “Zia” Colombo’s house who lived on Botanical Ave. in St. Louis “on the Hill”. After helping Grandma Maria clean the house, they’d both walk down to the corner to Columbia Theatre where they would enjoy popcorn and a movie for $1.25.
She loved her Mama and Daddy and Grandparents so very much. Family meant everything to Julie. Her childhood was full of many ‘heated’ but cherished family gatherings with her brother and sister…on the Hill with cousins, Hnatts, Navas, and childhood friends from the Fawns Club…on Magnolia St. with the Phelps’ and Lositos and…on Edward Terrace with the Colombos, Wrights…and in Antioch IL, with Aunt Rosie and Uncle Corny Wildhaber where she and her siblings, Michael and Vicki, along with cousins, Rusty, Marco, Gian Carlo, Alessandro and Leisa spent many treasured summer vacations together fishing, water skiing and swimming in Fox Lake.
In her later years after the Matriarchs and Patriarchs of the Colombo family passed away and families separated, she often reminisced of her fondest memories and wonderful times she had with Rick and the kids in their quaint four-room house on 4660 Mattis Road and the huge 4th of July parties had with the Colombo, Phelps, and Speth family, friends-Houskas, Breihans, Horning, McEntee, and neighbors- Tribouts and closest girlfriends Grace, Linda, and Kathy. So many of Patti, Jeff and Ricky’s friends often stopped by to just to say hello to their sweet Mom long after they grew up and moved out of the house.
Julie loved Rick and became a teen-age mother and couldn’t be prouder of it. Her children and grandchildren gave her great joy and a reason to live. The last 7 years of her life she was part of a lovely Bible Study group and made dear, cherished friends learning and studying the Bible together. It was in those years that she gained an even deeper relationship with Christ and found wisdom and peace in the words of the Sacred Scriptures.
She loved sight-seeing but didn’t get to travel much. She was planning the “first-ever” Speth family vacation/cruise to take her family on and then she got sick. The best places she ever visited with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter was Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; Medjugore, Bosnia-Herzegovina; and Rome, Italy - oh what a trip!
Julie is survived by her daughter Patti, son-in-law Joe Morgan, her son Jeff Speth, daughter-in-law Suzie Speth, youngest son Ricky (she called him her “Fire-cracker” baby), daughter-in-law Stephanie Speth, grandchildren Haley Morgan, Sophia and Caleb Speth, former husband and dear friend, Rick Speth, sister Vicki (nee Colombo) Castiaux, brother-in-law Bob Castiaux, her Uncle Jim Wright, cousin Penny Moore, and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and life-long friends, Grace Schupp and Linda Parrott.
Her brother Michael Colombo, cousin Marco Hnatt, Aunt Pat Wright, Aunt Rosie and Uncle Corny Wildhaber preceded her in death.
Service is Tuesday, July 2nd at Calcaterra Funeral Home, 5140 Daggett Ave., St. Louis. The viewing is from 4-8 p.m. Rosary at 7:30 p.m. The funeral Mass is at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3 at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 5130 Wilson Ave., followed by her burial at Resurrection Cemetery at 6901 MacKenzie Rd, St. Louis, MO 63123
- Visitation - Tuesday Tuesday, July 2, 2019
- Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary Tuesday, July 2, 2019
- Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, July 3, 2019
- Rite of Committal Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Juliana Phelps Speth
Leisa Colombo Williams
July 1, 2019
My cousin Julie was one of the sweetest souls God ever put on this earth. She loved with all of her heart and always put our big crazy family first. I loved her laugh, her mega-watt smile and our chats about the good old days- when our parents, grandparents and great uncles were alive- throwing all those wonderful family parties in the basement.
It breaks my heart that she suffered in the last months of her life, but she did it with grace and with a solid trust that all would be well in Heaven. I know she’s there looking down on us now, smiling that beautiful smile- a new guardian angel for all of those she loved. Rest easy, dear cousin. You’ll be missed more than you can know! - Love, Leisa and family