Elba – Mr. Roger I. Speed, 74, of Elba, passed away Friday, (April 16, 2010) at Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida after a brief illness.
Mr. Speed was born on October 17, 1935 in Batavia, the son of the late Anson and Helen (Rowcliffe) Speed.
He graduated from Elba Central School in 1953. He served eight years in the Naval Air Reserves. He was a member of the Elba Fire Department for 55 years. Also, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Elba, a charter member of the Ridge Hunt Club and the Rotary Club.
For over 30 years he owned Roger Speed Well Drilling and Pump business from which he retired in 1995. The family continued to look to Roger for guidance on various family projects. He instilled in his family his honesty, integrity, workmanship and a love for one another. He was skilled in many ways and passed his knowledge on to them all.
Roger lived in Elba his entire life shared by family and many friends. He built his house and raised his family on West Avenue next door to the Speed family homestead where his family lived for three generations. With the passing of his father, he remodeled the farmhouse where he spent his remaining years.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed camping and traveling. Hunting season was like a national holiday and his hunting buddies were very dear to him. As a gifted musician, he was able to play many instruments including piano, organ, guitar and drums and usually carried a harmonica ready to play. He especially loved Scottish music and enjoyed traveling to follow pipe and drum competitions.
He spent many hours with his grandsons giving tractor rides, 4-wheeler rides and boat rides and especially enjoyed attending their sporting events.
He will always be remembered as “Golden Boy” to his whole family.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Nancy (Gillette) Speed of Elba; three daughters, Ellen (Peter) Van Buskirk of North Port, Florida, Sharon (Robert) MacLeod of Liverpool and Lisa (Frank) Penna of Elba; seven grandsons, Nathan and Nicholas Van Buskirk, Kevin, Jason and Philip MacLeod, Frankie and Angelo Penna; four sisters, Virginia (Kenneth) Mullen of Oakfield, Lucille ( late William) Schultz of Elba, Jeanette (Gerry) Grazioplene of Batavia, and Beverly (Jack) Hillabush of Elba and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by a granddaughter Desirae Van Buskirk.
Calling hours are Thursday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 East Main Street, Batavia. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the First Presbyterian Church of Elba, 23 North Main Street, Elba. Burial will be in Maplelawn Cemetery, Elba. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Elba Fire Department, Elba Presbyterian Church or made payable to Nancy Speed for the purpose of purchasing a new base drum to be used by the Queens University Pipe Band in his memory. Condolences may be made at www.bataviafuneralhomes.com.