Ripley Publishing Company, Inc.

812-689-6364 |

Mary Evelyn (Fleming) Speer

Mary Evelyn (Fleming) Speer

Mary Evelyn (Fleming) Speer of North Vernon, Indiana passed away on July 1, 2024.

She was born on October 18, 1938, at her home in North Vernon, to Chester and Etta (Clark) Fleming. Mary Evelyn was a lifelong resident of Jennings County. On November 12, 1953, she married her high school sweetheart and love of her life, Walter Eugene Speer. They were happily married for 63 years before his passing; raising a beautiful family, traveling, and together building a family farming business where Mary Evelyn was the bookkeeper and accountant, but never hesitated to jump on a tractor or to drive a grain truck. Later in life, if you asked either of them, they would always credit each other for the success of their farming business. Her favorite trip they took together was to the Holy Lands, where they drank from Jacob’s well, renewed their wedding vows, and she was baptized again in the Jordan River.

Mary Evelyn was a member of the Columbia Home Economics Club for over 50 years. She served as the County President and on many committees in the county. She was a Charter member of the Afternoon Columbia Club, of which she helped start when several of the evening club members could no longer drive at night. She and another member also initiated the organization of the Home Makers Memorial Garden at the Jennings County Fairgrounds. She made the best homemade crescent rolls and strawberry jam. She served as a 4-H Leader, on Dollars for Scholars, and for the American Cancer Society for Jennings County.

Mary Evelyn is a member of the Zenas Baptist Church. As a member of the church, she served on the Women’s Mission Circle, Sunday school teacher, BYF Leader, a member of the choir, Bible school director/teacher, director and member of the Crisis Committee, and any other service asked of her by her church. Mary Evelyn and her husband were also known to be great supporters of the Billy Graham Crusade. It was the Word of God delivered by Mr. Graham that led her husband to the Lord and put Christ as the focus of their family. Aside from the church, Mary Evelyn was known in the community for the hundreds of cards she sent and meals she took to anyone in need or going through difficult times.

Mary Evelyn’s greatest joy was her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. She attended countless sporting events, dance recitals, school plays, grandparent days, award programs, graduations, queen contests, weddings, livestock shows, dress rehearsals, tractor pulls and any event associated with the grandchildren. Her most treasured times were the dinners she planned every month for over 30 years to celebrate family member birthdays so that the family could be together and she could bake her angel food cake to celebrate. She prided herself on making sure her family was together and put the Lord as the center of the family. Her hope for the world was that everyone would know Jesus and live by the Golden Rule.

Mary Evelyn is survived by her six children: Gary (Janet) Speer of North Vernon, Kristina (Gary) Johnson of Westport, Janet Sue (Thomas) McGreal of San Marino, CA, Daniel (Michele) Speer of Holton, Jeanie (Dale) Koelmel of Butlerville, and Walter Leon (Meaghan) Speer of North Vernon, 22 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. Two sister-in-laws, Virginia Brauer and Janet (Wayne) Speer and best of friends for 60 years, Janet Barber.

She is proceeded in death by her husband, Walter Eugene Speer on October 18, 2015, Parents: Chester and Etta (Clark) Fleming, Parent-in-laws: William and Emily (Gertrude) Speer, Sisters: Margaret O’Neal and Betty Leahigh, Brother: Frances “Buddy” and Sister-in-law/best friend, Bernice Hopkins.

Funeral service for Mrs. Speer will be conducted on Saturday, July 6th at Dove-Sharp & Rudicel Funeral Home and Cremation Services in North Vernon with the Rev. Mitch Harrell officiating. Visitation will be from 10-2 with services immediately following. Burial will be at Butlerville Cemetery in Butlerville, IN.

Memorials can be made through the funeral home to the Butlerville Cemetery.