Joanne Speece

Joanne Speece

Tuesday, December 7th, 1926 Monday, August 3rd, 2020

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Obituary for Joanne K. Speece

On August 3, 2020 Joanne K. Speece passed away unexpectedly at home in Willoughby Hills, her residence of 52 years.

Born December 7, 1926 to Harold and Sara Eleanor Cope in Akron, Ohio her family moved to St. Clairsville, Ohio and then to Neffs, Ohio, where she graduated in 1944 from Bellaire High School. Her grades and personal initiative earned her a scholarship to Baldwin-Wallace College where she worked to cover additional costs. Her time at Baldwin-Wallace was cut short when her father was hurt in a mining accident and she returned home to help with the family.

Joanne had eight siblings. She was offered a first grade teaching position on a 2 year provisional teaching certificate at Neffs Elementary from 1946-1950. She continued her education during summers and met her husband, Robert (dec.2007), while they were attending West Liberty College in West Virginia. They married in October 1947 and Joanne continued to teach in Neffs.

Upon Robert's completion of his undergraduate degree via the GI Bill they moved to the Cleveland area where he attended law school and she secured a teaching position in Brecksville for a year until teaching for the Mayfield City school system the next year.

They started a family and secured a home in Eastlake where Joanne assisted at the Lakeshore Congregational Church running a kindergarten class and then opened a private kindergarten in her home from 1956 to 1958. The following year she taught a kindergarten class in Willowick at the former Dudley Field barracks location. From there she taught second grade at Thomas Jefferson Elementary and then first grade at George Washington Elementary from 1962 to 1970. In 1965 she returned to college to acquire her four-year degree at Lake Erie College. Joanne wound up her career from 1970 to 1984 at the former Garfield School in Willoughby Hills after moving her residence to Willoughby Hills in 1968.
Joanne had always had aspirations of becoming a teacher from childhood. She nurtured many and was loved by all. She had a work ethic, love and devotion, unsurpassed in her career as well as her family life.

She and her husband took their children on many fun filled cross country vacations over the years visiting all the national parks and family in Montana and California. Those memories are cherished by all her children to this very day. She continued to enjoy traveling in their motorhome after retiring.

She is survived by her four children, daughter, Ann Kay and husband Richard of Lexington, Ohio, son, Robert Jr. and wife Karen of Coxsackie, NY, son, Thomas and wife Yvonne of Sunbury, Ohio, and son, Raymond of Willoughby Hills, and many grand and great-grandchildren..

Joanne will be interred with graveside services alongside her husband in her ancestral cemetery in Colerain Twp., Belmont County, Ohio.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joanne K. Speece, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, August 7th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Farmington Cemetery
    Address not given
    Friday, August 7th, 2020
    Rev. Larry A. Pozza
  • Interment

    Farmington Cemetery
    Address not given

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Celeste & Ron Askin and Family sent flowers to the family of Joanne K. Speece.
Hand delivered by a local florist
Celeste & Ron Askin and Family sent flowers to the family of Joanne K. Speece.
Hand delivered by a local florist

Garrett , Stephanie & Molly

Sending our love and prayers to all of the family. Hope you're comforted by the love and support of everyone whose life she touched.
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Memorial Tree Planted

Garrett , Stephanie & Molly planted a memorial tree for Joanne Speece
Comment | Posted at 09:05pm via Memorial Tree

Jennifer Klika

I’m so very sorry about the passing of your mom. I have warm, fond memories of her and your loving home Willoughby Hills.
Comment | Posted at 10:43am via Condolence

Courtney & Melody Cope and Family

With our deepest condolences, we send our love and prayers.
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Memorial Tree Planted

Courtney & Melody Cope and Family planted a memorial tree for Joanne Speece
Comment | Posted at 07:07pm via Memorial Tree

Celeste Askin

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Love, Celeste & Ron Askin, and family
Comment | Posted at 07:05pm via Condolence

sharon Cope

Prayers to all of you. Much love, Aunt Sharon
Comment | Posted at 05:55pm via Condolence

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