John W. Speer
John William Speer was born in 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died peacefully surrounded by his family on July 3, 2018 in Winter Haven, Florida. John grew up in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia playing in nearby Fairmount Park and doing things that most boys were doing growing up in the 30s and 40s. John spent 8 years in the US Army, 2 years on active duty and 6 years in the Army Reserves, traveling overseas with the 115th Engineer Combat Unit B Company in the Sixth Armored Division during the Korean conflict before being honorably discharged in 1960. John met his wife Viola (nee Wambold) in December 1955 and knew immediately that she was the love of his life and so he asked her to marry him on Christmas Day just three weeks after their first date. They were married in 1957 and spent the next 61 years together raising their three daughters, Mary, Janet, and Eileen in Holland, Pennsylvania. John joined the Sheet Metal Workers Union in 1955, eventually starting his own contracting business, Speer Roofing and Sheet Metal which he ran successfully with his wife for over 20 years. John retired in 1995, relocated to Four Lakes Golf Club Community in Winter Haven, Florida and took up golfing for the first time. Over the years he honed his golf game scoring not one but two holes-in-one, a feat many lifetime golfers never achieve. John, the unofficial governor of Four Lakes, and his wife spent their 23 years in Florida playing golf, traveling throughout the world, visiting with their ever growing families, entertaining friends, and partying with the Loopers, the Original Four Lakers and everyone else in their community. John is survived by his wife, Viola (nee Wambold); his three daughters Mary (Steven) Goldberg, Janet (Dennis Cole) Speer, and Eileen (David) Nicastro; his ten grandchildren Jaclyn (Wilfredo) Gonzalez (nee Bentz), Ryan Bentz, Brittany (Shaun) Kieffer (nee Bentz), Jason Nicastro, Jacob Nicastro, Megan Cole, Ellen Cole, Jason (Candace) Goldberg, Marc (Erica) Goldberg, Randy Goldberg; and his eleven great-grandchildren Reanna Bentz, Summerlyn Bentz, Rogan Gonzalez, and Nolan John Richard Kieffer, Maverick McCollum, Darcy Goldberg, Emersyn Goldberg, Roarke Goldberg, Samantha Goldberg, Alyssa Goldberg, and Benjamin Goldberg.
Funeral Mass will be held at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, 1265 Robinson Dr, Haines City, FL 33844, on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 10:30 am followed by a reception at the Four Lakes Golf Club Community Clubhouse, 990 La Quinta Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33881, at 12:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in John’s name be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Parkinson's Foundation Donations
- John is survived by his wife, Viola (nee Wambold); his three daughters Mary (Steven) Goldberg, Janet (Dennis Cole) Speer, and Eileen (David) Nicastro; his ten grandchildren Jaclyn (Wilfredo) Gonzalez (nee Bentz), Ryan Bentz, Brittany (Shaun) Kieffer (nee Bentz), Jason Nicastro, Jacob Nicastro, Megan Cole, Ellen Cole, Jason (Candace) Goldberg, Marc (Erica) Goldberg, Randy Goldberg; and his four great-grandchildren Reanna Bentz, Summerlyn Bentz, Rogan Gonzalez, and Baby Boy Kieffer.
- Memorial Service Thursday, September 27, 2018
John W. Speer
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Brittany (Bentz) Kieffer
August 2, 2018
I'll never forget how you always called me "Minnie", short for "Skinny Minnie", and how you became my "Poppy Seed". I know that I will always have a guardian angel, and so will my little boy, Nolan John. Love you forever.
Jaclyn (Bentz) Gonzalez
July 11, 2018
How does one pick just one memory to share, when there have been 36 years worth of them? To tell all of the great memories I have made with my Poppy would take an eternity. The one word that comes to my mind is "honored". I am honored to be called his granddaughter, and he my grandfather, and I am honored that I was able to spend 36 amazing years with him. There are so many moments where Poppy touched my life, that it is a futile feat trying to decide which one of them is worth sharing: Because they ALL are. A few years ago, I had the privilege of spending some one on one, quality time with my Poppy and Nanny, when I resided with them. Those are moments that I will forever cherish. It was just Poppy, Nanny, and I. Having that one on one time with my Poppy and Nanny is something that will always be dear to my heart. Not many grandchildren have the opportunity to have such quality time with their grandparents, and for a such a lengthy duration. Our nights were filled with sitting in the sunroom, watching "Lost", "House of Cards", or even "Fox News", while enjoying Poppy's favorite after dinner snack, ice cream. There are no amount of words that could ever describe just how much I am going to miss my Poppy. The realization that he is no longer physically here with us, is an extremely sombering one. The world has lost a wonderful man, and I have lost one of the most important people in my life. Not a day will go by that I do not feel the void that his departure had left me with. At the same time, I am so thankful that he is now in God's beautiful kingdom, doing the things that he loves to do, but had lost the ability to do them due to his Parkinson's Disease. It comforts my weeping heart to know that he is no longer in pain and that he can once again do things independently: the things most of us take for granted. Poppy, I am going to miss you so much. I have felt your absence each and every day. I love you so incredibly much. Rest peacefully my beautiful angel. <3