William Delano Speir of Forest Park, Georgia, went home to be with God on July 23, 2022. He was surrounded by his loving family.
William “Bill” Speir was born on March 3, 1933 to Joshua Lawrence and Mattie June Speir. Bill served our country and his community throughout his life. He was the oldest living Fireman for the City of Forest Park and a Veteran of the United States Air Force.
He was a humble hero of humble beginnings, who lived an extraordinary life of service and faith. He was born in a tent in Union City, Georgia at a time when his father was building their future home in Avondale Estates, Georgia. He was the second born of four sons.
A child of the Great Depression, Bill always worked hard. He grew up farming, sharecropping, and helping his family in every way he could. His first job was at the age of 10 working in a cannery in Dekalb County Georgia. He went to school and straight to work after school each day.
Bill graduated from Avondale Estates Elementary School with perfect attendance. His family moved to Lafayette, Georgia where he graduated from Lafayette High School before volunteering to join the Air Force. He was stationed at Thule Air Force Base in Greenland during the Korean War, and later at the Strategic Air Command in Arizona where he learned to fly. Flying planes was a passion for Bill his whole life. He loved aviation. He not only loved flying planes, he also loved birds and nature.
In 1960, Bill made history as part of the first class of paid Firefighters for the City of Forest Park. He would work a 24-hour shift at the Fire Station then go to his second job before returning to work another 24 hour shift. His depression era work ethic remained strong his whole life through. He retired after nearly 40 years of service to the City as a much beloved Captain.
Bill met and married the love of his life, Beatrice Speir in Atlanta. They were married for almost 40 years. God called Bea home in 1992. They did not have children although, he, and his niece, Angelia were especially close to each other.
Bill was a kind, humble man of great faith, courage and strength. He loved the Lord and his family with all his heart, and he was good to everyone. He would help anyone in need. He was filled with grace, goodness, kindness, generosity, and amazing strength to overcome circumstances that would have defeated others. He never gave up and he fought the good fight of faith until God called him home.
Bill loved good food, friends, and reading his Bible. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and being outdoors in nature. His family and friends will forever remember him for his huge heart for God and life, and his kind, gentle and loving spirit.
Bill was an outstanding husband, uncle, and friend.
Along with his parents and loving wife, Bill is preceded in death by his brothers: Jim, Bob, and Jack.
He is survived by his niece, Angelia (Mike); nephews, Darryl, Jim, Larry, and Bobby Scott, as well as a host of family, and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the City of Forest Park Fire Department.
His celebration of life will be held at the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro-Chapel on Monday, August 01, 2022 at 1:00 pm. The family will be receiving friends at the church beginning at 11:30 am. Interment will follow at Forest Hills Memorial Gardens.