Harold Francis Speer, Jr. [Hal], 67, passed away on October 5, 2018, at Baptist-DeSoto Hospital in Southaven, MS, due to complications from a heart condition and dialysis. He fought long and hard but resulting weakness won. He joins the other stars in the universe but there is no doubt that he will shine brighter. His love, kindness, generosity, humor and genuine understanding of people were warmly felt by many who will feel the loss of this wonderful man. He lived in his adopted home of Senatobia, MS, a small town in which he felt total peace.
Hal was born on August 21, 1951, in Memphis, TN, to Harold Sr. and Bobbie Speer. During his high school career, he was an outstanding athlete. He was a defensive end and a running back on his football team, and he played on a summer league baseball team of former Kingsbury High School players. He retired after working several years as a Director for the Grand Casino in Tunica County, MS, a job that he loved and one in which he was loved and respected by his co-workers. He enjoyed the game of golf and played a very good game until back problems stopped his participation. But, thanks to the Golf Channel, he was still able to watch the game. Nothing made him happier than watching college football games and UT, the University of Tennessee, was his very favorite . . . although he would be quick to say that their performance has been lacking in recent years.
Hal was preceded in death by his loving parents Harold, Sr., and Bobbie Speer and his sweet sister Shirley Speer.
Hal is survived by his wife Charlotte of Senatobia, MS, for whom he was everything. He loved his son Jon [Lisa] of Olive Branch, MS. Also, he loved his three step-children: John [GG] of Hernando, MS; Debra [Michael] of Hernando, MS; and Matthew of Bellingham, WA. He loved and felt so proud of his grandchildren: Daxton, Greyson, Heather, Haley [Dustin], Cassidy, Ryan and Seth -- and one little great-grandchild, Ellie. He loved and felt extremely close to his beloved brother Wayne [Aimee] of Jonesborough, TN, having spent many hours laughing and reminiscing about childhood memories. Among those who will miss Hal are life-long friends Carole and Jimmy Epley, whom he loved and considered valued members of his family. Hal would want to offer a sincere thank-you to two people who were special to him: Jean Haskell for a long-lasting friendship and Jan Speer for many shared years together. Leaving behind are many cousins who have cherished memories. Hal’s cat Lucky will miss him as he enjoyed petting her, listening to her purr. Last but definitely not least, Hal would want to offer a special thank-you to Dr. Todd Edwards, whom he believed had kept him alive for 16 years.
Respecting his wishes, his ashes will be spread in Cades Cove, a place he found peaceful and beautiful. Hal was generous to a fault with his money and his time. His sense of humor kept those who knew him laughing right out loud. Family and friends and former co-workers will feel an immense loss. Anyone coming in contact with Hal will remember his huge heart. Kindness, generosity and forgiveness were hallmarks of a life well lived. Rest in peace, sweet Hal . . . and, no, nobody can ever take your place.