George Albert Speir, Jr. died on August 21, 2017 in Houston, TX. He was 95.
George was born on March 20, 1922 in Swartz, LA to his parents, George and Lillie Speir. The oldest of seven children, George grew up with four sisters. His two brothers joined the family after he started college. He loved to fish, hunt and enjoyed time being a boy in rural Louisiana. He always spoke fondly of his first job as a paperboy. Always a superior student, George was awarded a scholarship to Louisiana State University where he majored in chemical engineering. Upon graduation in 1943, he joined the U.S. Navy as an officer. While on assignment in Philadelphia, George met his future bride, Joan Young. They were married on June 2, 1945. When the war ended George entered the petroleum industry and they settled in Philadelphia. Their family grew with the addition of Elizabeth, George III, Janet and Karen. In 1956 the family moved to Colombia, South America where he continued in his engineering field. David joined the family in 1963. George went on to work at UOP in the Chicago area where the family settled in Barrington. In 1973, he took a position with HUFFCO in Houston. He traveled the world extensively in all his positions, often in charge of both petroleum and LNG construction sites from Romania to Indonesia and Yemen.
Always insatiably curious, after retirement he enjoyed reading about and researching his many interests, including coin and stamp collecting and investing in the stock market. George loved to complete crossword puzzles with many colored pens to denote the order that he was able to complete the puzzle. He always had a legal pad by his side to jot notes and ideas. He enjoyed bridge, hacking around Champions golf course and feeding squirrels, birds, and stray cats. He treated the entire family to several memory filled cruises.
George’s focus was always on his family. He took great enjoyment attending the annual family Thanksgiving celebration in Swartz, LA and celebrating with his kinfolk. George and Joan were married for 72 years. For their 50th wedding anniversary, George and Joan hosted a party for family and friends. He was always the first to say, “Joan is in charge. She tells me what to wear and what to eat. She takes care of me and everyone in the family.” In the last few years, George was able to be a caregiver for his wife. These memories will bless our hearts forever.
George is survived by his wife, Joan Marie Speir; his children and their spouses, Elizabeth and Hans Stroessler of Chicago, IL, George and Eileen Speir of Chicago, IL, Janet and Paul Carroll of Houston, TX, Karen Speir of Houston, TX and David Speir of Houston, TX. He is survived by 5 grandchildren and their spouses, Amy and Mike Foy of Skokie, IL, Kristin and Danny Capezio of Chicago, IL, Jennifer and Sam Hendricks of Houston, TX, Mark and Karin Stroessler of Westlake, OH and Jonathan and Whitney Speir of Chicago, IL. He is survived by 4 great-grandchildren, Ashley Stroessler of Chicago, IL, Kate and Nick Hendricks of Houston, TX and Joshua Stroessler of Westlake, OH. He is survived by his brothers and sisters. George was preceded in death by his parents, George and Lillie Speir and his sister, Frances Cole.
A memorial will take place on August 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm at Autumn Leaves (17801 West Rd., Houston, TX 77095) with dinner to follow at Goode Co BBQ (20102 Northwest Frwy, Houstom, TX 77065). All are welcome to attend and celebrate the life of George Speir, III.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice.