Published July 7, 2021
FLOWERY BRANCH–Deacon Bill Speed, who served at Prince of Peace Church in Flowery Branch, died Thursday, June 10. He was 85.
Born on Feb. 4, 1936 in Selma, Alabama he attended Parrish High School where he met the love of his life, Naida Rowell. They married after graduation in 1954. Deacon Speed attended the University of Alabama earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 1958. After joining the United States Air Force after college and serving one term, he returned home to help his parents with the family business after his father was injured.
Years later, he became an insurance agent and then was promoted to a management position. This led him to come to the Atlanta area in 1973, moving his wife and sons to Buford. During this time, Deacon Speed became one of the founding members of the new Catholic church in Buford and became heavily involved in the growth and the building of Prince of Peace. He loved his church so much that he felt called to serve after retirement. He was ordained a deacon in 2000.
The Speeds were married for 66 years and after her death in February, the void in his heart was deep. For those who knew Deacon Speed, he was a true leader and exemplified love for our God.
The deacon was preceded in death by his spouse, Naida Rowell Speed; son Mark Speed and parents Benjamin Speed and Lynne Mae Speed. He is survived by his sons and their wives Brian and Marla Osburn Speed, Keith and Lynne Shoemake Speed; seven grandchildren, Jessica Thrasher (Kyle), Kali Arcega (Josh), Shea Speed (Brittny), Leah Speed, Kacie Waters (John), Ryan Speed (Sarah), Anna Chelena (Jonathan) and seven great-grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was June 25 at Prince of Peace Church, Flowery Branch.
Memorial donations may be made to the “Deacon Bill Speed Alter Server Scholarship Fund.” Checks can be made payable to Prince of Peace Church, and please note for the scholarship fund. These can be mailed to the parish at 6439 Spout Springs Rd, Flowery Branch, GA 30542.