Mrs. Mary Elizabeth “Bess” Ross Speer: Celebration of Life Service Saturday, September 26 at 11:00am

Published 11:48 am Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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Mrs. Mary Elizabeth “Bess” Ross Speer, age 92, passed away on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at Perfect Care.
A private burial and committal service was held on Thursday, April 9, at Oak Grove Cemetery with Dr. Bryan Myers officiating.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, the celebration of life service was postponed and is now scheduled for 11:00 AM on Saturday, September 26, at Central Baptist Church with Dr. Bryan Myers and Rev. Hugh DeLoach officiating.  The family will receive friends in the foyer of Central Baptist Church immediately following the service. 
She was born July 6, 1927 in Schley County, a daughter of the late James H. Ross, Jr. and the late Mattie Will Powell Ross McLeod.
A longtime member of Central Baptist Church, Mrs. Speer was retired from Sumter Regional Hospital where she was employed for many years as a Registered Nurse. She was a former member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Railroad, Firemen & Engineers; of the B.P.W. Club, of Beta Sigma Phi; and of the 12th District Nursing Association. She was a graduate of Macon Hospital School of Nursing, where she was a member of the Cadet Nursing Corps for three years during World War II.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Charles R. “Charlie” Speer; and by her sister and brother-in-law, Martha Norton and F.D. “Square” Norton.
Survivors include two sons: Charles Russell Speer, Jr. (Judy) of East Bernstadt, KY and James Thompson Speer of Americus; two granddaughters: Kimberly “Charley” Speer (Michael) of Marble, CO and Stacey Elizabeth Speer Smithley (Steve) of Yorktown, VA; two great-granddaughters: Cassie Smithley and Brooke Smithley; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
To sign our online guestbook and express your condolences to the family, please visit
Hancock Funeral Home, 427 S. Lee St., is honored to be entrusted with these arrangements for Mrs. Mary Elizabeth “Bess” Ross Speer. 
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