Erling D Speer

April 12, 1940June 30, 2019

Erling Dick Speer, a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather died on June 30th with his family and granddog, Venture, by his side. Born on April 12, 1940 in Augusta, GA, his early education began at St. Andrew’s Prep School in Middleton, DE where he became one of St. Andrew’s star athletes by earning his varsity letter in wrestling in his freshman year. Erling attended Washington & Lee University and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in business. Always known as a hard worker with an entrepreneurial spirit, Erling began his professional career building the Northridge Villas in Beech Mountain, NC. His friendship with Charles Fraser brought him to Harbor Town, SC and spawned his desire to design and create a golf course community of his own. In the late 1970’s he began his journey as a pioneer of residential golf course communities in Stuart, FL. Both Mariner Sands and Willoughby Golf Club are recognized as two of the finest communities in the area. Erling returned to his Georgian roots when he accepted the Callaway family’s offer to assist Cousin’s Property in adding a residential component to the Gardens. It was during this time that he introduced his New England born and raised wife to pulled pork and pot liquor. Erling was a true visionary and started the Economical Counsel of Martin County as well as the First Tee program of the Treasure Coast. He was actively involved with the Young President’s Organization, Urban Land Institute, Outward Bound and numerous other civic organizations. In 1991, He was designated as the Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year. His devotion and passion since his retirement has been focused on the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Martin County. His enthusiasm and commitment to their success has been instrumental in the lives of many young children. Erling, a true Southern gentleman, will be remembered as an entertaining storyteller and, very literally, the nicest person you could ever meet. “He was loved and respected by all who knew him.” He is survived by his loving wife Susie, his two daughters, Meredith Gardner and her husband, Peter, of Winter Park, FL; daughter Sara Fox of Tampa, FL and son, Adam Fox of Bellair Bluffs, FL; grandchildren Gideon, Caldwell, Brynleigh and Griffin. Erling’s sister, Ragnild Ezelle, and her husband, Jack live in Savannah, GA with Erling’s two nephews, Charles and Stephen. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to one of the following: The Boys & Girls Club of Martin County, Hospice of The Treasure Coast or St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Stuart, FL


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Erling D Speer

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Timothy Hackett

July 9, 2019

A Southern Gentleman without a doubt. One that gave much to Martin County indeed. From the Mountains of North Carolina to the shores of Florida; Erling left a path of quality development. One of the first condominiums in North Carolina to Mariner Sands that recevied an Award of Excellence for Planning from the National Association of Home Builders and recognized by the ULI as a model Country Club and large scale community development. He gave me my first opportunity building his condos in NC with Environmental Ventures even though I was a Clemson Graduate and he from the University of South Carolina. For this I remain grateful. Then the opportunity of my lifetime at Mariner Sands. He should be remembered as a developer of integrity with a keen appreciation for the environment and the ability to build a community due to his friendly way. He is missed but not forgotten. May he rest in peace having heard those great words "well done my good and faithful servant."

Kevin Downing

July 7, 2019

Erling was always so respectful of others which made it a pleasure to work with him over the years. His influence on many of us will always be cherished.

Steve Winch

July 6, 2019

A kind and gracious gentlemen, true friend and mentor, and a unique visionary. Thanks for being an inspiration to so many of us.

J. Street Brewer, Jr.

July 6, 2019

Erling's spirit shall always live on within me!
I am so Blessed to have had him as a friend.


Don Winston

July 5, 2019

Erling was our next door neighbor in Roswell, Georgia when we moved there in 2003. He was the first "Southern Gentleman" we had ever met - and in fact, may be the only one we've met in the 16 years since. Always impeccably dressed, socks optional, a fabulous memory for story-telling, and perpetually gracious, kind and generous. It's time we all break out the Maker's Mark in his honor.

Don and Beverly Winston

Charlie Ellis

July 3, 2019

BBQ for sure but I think Dewer’s Was preferable over pot likker...I fondly remember the annual “pig roast” we had at his parent’s home...a wonderful man and friend...ready smile, gentle laugh and never an unkind word about anybody...irreplaceable...he will be missed by many reaching from Atlanta to Savannah to all of south easy Erling and keep on smiling....Charlie