Carroll Eugene “Gene” Speaker, 72, of Seymour, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, at Our Hospice of South Central Indiana in Columbus.
Born Oct. 6, 1943, in Seymour, he was the son of Frances and Edith Speaker, both of whom preceded him in death. On June 4, 1966, in Columbus, he married Roberta “Bobbi” Redmon, who survives. Their 50th wedding anniversary would have been in June.
He was a graduate of Columbus High School and Purdue University. While at Purdue, Gene majored in agriculture economics and received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1965. He was involved in many campus activities during his years at Purdue. He was president of his fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho, and was selected to be a member of the Iron Key. Iron Keys are bestowed upon a select group of undergraduate men as a symbol of the highest achievement attainable by campus leaders. He was a strong, proud Boilermaker his entire life and loved Boilermakers’ basketball and football.
At Purdue, he was a member of the Army ROTC and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He went on active duty in June of 1966 and served in Vietnam for one year. His leadership continued in the military with the Bronze Star being his highest award. His team saved a village by controlling a fire. After his return home from Vietnam, he finished his time of service with his wife at Fort Benning, Georgia.
He worked for Ralston Purina in Ohio and Iowa before returning home to farm with his father and brother, Ron. Speaker’s Pork Lane Farms enjoyed many successful years raising hogs and crop farming. Gene was proud of his daughters’ years showing hogs at the Jackson County Fair and Indiana State Fair. He was a member of the Jackson County Pork Producers and was instrumental in the start-up of the “Pork Tent” at the Jackson County Fair.
He also was a member of the Jackson County Zoning Board for 20 years. He fought for farmers’ rights and the protection of farm land. He was active in the Purdue Club of Jackson County and a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church.
Besides his wife, survivors include daughters, Amy (Tom) Dowd and Erin (Tony) Miller; six grandchildren, Bailey Dowd and Karlee Dowd, and Abby Miller, Chloe Miller, Brody Miller and Jude Miller; a sister, Linda (Alan) Johnson; two brothers, Larry (Jackie) Speaker and Ronald “Ronnie” (Jackie) Speaker; his mother-in-law, Helen Redmon; and several nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant sister, Barbara Speaker.
A celebration of life service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, with a military service conducted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925, American Legion Post 89, Disabled Veterans 47, Korean and Vietnam Veterans, all of Seymour.
Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at Voss Chapel and from 10 a.m. until time of service Saturday at the church.
Memorials may be made to Alpha Gamma Rho Foundation-Ron Hurt Memorial or Our Hospice of South Central Indiana.