John R. Speer was born Nov. 30, 1917, in Mason, Okla., to John R. and Oma Gibson Speer. He was the youngest of four children; Robert, Elsie Mae, Iva Marie, and John. John graduated from Mason High School in 1936. He was the last surviving member of his class of eight.
John and Jessie were married June 30, 1936, in Mason. They relocated to the Yakima Valley in Washington in 1948 and worked in an orchard and fruit warehouse. They were faithful and participating members of Selah Bible Baptist Church for 30 years. John drove a mail route from Yakima to Tacoma, Wash., and then became a long distance truck driver.
John had a strong bass voice and was part of the “Echoes of Mercy” radio quartet in Yakima for 15 years.
In 1982, John and Jessie moved to The Dalles, Ore., where they became apartment managers. They were faithful and active members of Calvary Baptist Church.
John and Jessie had four sons. The oldest, James, a career serviceman, passed away from an automobile accident in 1972. His wife, Ramona, lives in Panama. Gary and his wife, Marsha, live in Salem. John Lee and his wife, Jean, live in The Dalles, Ore., Danny and his wife, Barbara, live in Selah, Wash.
Jessie passed away in 2012. John is survived by eight grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren, who dearly loved him.
Memorial service will be held Saturday, March 11 at 11 a.m. Calvary Baptist Church, The Dalles, Ore.
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