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Donald C. Speer
December 15, 1929-December 1, 2022
Speer obit pic

On December 1, 2022, Donald C. Speer, entered into rest at the age of 92, in Manteca, Ca. He was born on December 15, 1929 in Western Nebraska along the Oregon Trail near the little town of Broadwater.  He is preceded in death by his parents Edgar Leroy and Wihelmena Tackla (Meidlinger) Speer, all of his eleven siblings, and his beloved wife of 58 years, Lorna, who passed on November 26, 2006.

   Growing up in Nebraska, Donald graduated from Bayard High School. Don worked hard on his family's pig farm during the depression and later at their home in Bayard during World War II. Life was not all hard work; it was fun and adventurous, too. Donald met Lorna Mae Meter, the love of his life, the "cute brown-eyed girl", at a swimming hole and married in October 1948 in Bayard, Nebraska. Together they had four children. They raised their family in Scottsbluff where they attended the First Baptist Church.  Don sang in the church choir and played on the softball team. In 1966, the family relocated to Hayward, CA for a better paying job and free college educations for his children. In 1980, they made their final move to Manteca where they called home for 42 years.

   In Don’s early years, he and his wife, along with his brother Glenn, harvested wheat with their own rigs in Kansas.  Lorna was the cook for the threshing crew. Throughout the years he worked for several companies, including; demolitionist for a Geological Surveyor, Valley Motor Supply Company, Great Western Sugar, O’Relle and Keefe Painting and then finally in 1993, Don retired from Lawrence Livermore Lab.

   Don and Lorna loved to travel, especially to the Grand Tetons and camping in their RV. They traveled to places such as; Hawaii, Europe, sailed to Alaska and visited family in Utah, Texas and the West. They attended their grandchildren’s sporting events, recitals, and concerts. They traveled a hundred times to Nebraska for family visits and gatherings.  Don and Lorna loved their family dearly.

   Don is survived by his son Douglas (Lee Ann), daughters Alexis (Joseph Di Maggio), Paulette (William Denton) and Donna Hall, seven grandchildren, Neil DI Maggio, Jennifer Di Maggio-Bond, Victoria Hall, Jessica Kiser, Eric Denton, Karen Nichols and Kevin Speer, and fourteen great-grandchildren. Donald was the ninth of twelve children, six sisters and five brothers. He was a kind, generous, soft-spoken, hardworking man who will be greatly missed by all who loved him.

   P.L. Fry and Son is honored to be serving the Speer family. Visitation will be on Friday, December 9, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. followed by a celebration of life service at 1:00  p.m. both held at P.L. Fry and Son Chapel, 290 N. Union Rd., Manteca, Ca. He will be laid to rest at Park View Cemetery. For live streaming of the service and for direct condolences to the family visit

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Wednesday, December 7, 2022