Ralph Hershel ‘Speedy” Spear. 95, went home to be with our Lord on 11/14/2020.
Speedy was born in Smyrna, TN and his family moved to Tampa, FL when he was only 1 1/2.
Speedy’s family owned and operated T.H. Spear & Sons grocery store in which he worked in helping his family at a young age. He was very active in sports at Seminole Grammar, and Memorial Jr. High. He excelled at football, quickly earning the nickname “Speedy” for his speed and agility.
After learning about the business world, Speedy became a creative entrepreneur at an early age. He owned and operated his Sinclair gas and service station after negotiating $5.00 month rent to sell leftover quota gasoline.
He attended Hillsborough High School then enlisted in the US Coast Guard and served bravely aboard the LST30 during WWII. His tour included Japan, Guam, Leyte, The Philippines and Okinawa, Japan.
After returning home from the service he met his bride Barbara Louise Mullis. They were married 69 years until her passing two years ago. Speedy and Barbara “Bunny” moved to Chattanooga, TN and raised their two children and owned and operated Spear Camping Center for many years before retiring to Orlando, FL then Ft Myers Beach, FL. They were active in their church, Chapel by the Sea. They loved exploring Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, where they were charter members and annual pass holders for many years. He enjoyed camping, touring across the country in their RV and home improvement projects. After years of Florida fun, Bunny and Speedy then moved back to Chattanooga.
Speedy is survived by his daughter, Barbie Spear Hoffman of Atlanta, GA and St Augustine, FL, son Douglas H Spear and wife Jill McElhenney Spear, of Signal Mountain, TN and Sarasota, FL, grandson, Dr. Douglas and Rene’ Hoffman, of Sunnyvale, California, grandson Ret. Navy Seal MCPO(E-9) and Sarah Hoffman of San Diego, CA., granddaughter Emily Spear Tang, esq., her husband Andrew Tang, esq., and great granddaughter Eleanor Harper Tang of Tampa, FL and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his Father, Thomas Henry Spear, Mother, Mary Goodner Eslick Spear, brothers Thomas Henry Jr., Hume, Robert Earl, James Raymond and sister Mary Elizabeth. Speedy was loved by the Dominion staff in Hixson, TN. He will be greatly missed, but his lasting legacy will always be an inspiration to all who knew him.
Speedy and Bunny will be laid to rest together at a later date at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida with a military ceremony with honors.
Arrangements are Chattanooga Funeral Home, North Chapel, 5401 Hwy. 153, Hixson, TN 37343.
Please share your thoughts and memories at www.ChattanoogaNorthChapel.com.