Hobart Speegle Jr., 91, cherished patriarch of the Speegle clan

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Hobart Speegle Jr.
Hobart Speegle Jr.

Hobart Speegle Jr., 91, passed away Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and the cherished patriarch of the Speegle clan who served as a role model for faith, family and wisdom.

He was born Feb. 5, 1925, at home in Elizabeth City, Va., which is now known as Hampton, Va. He was the second oldest of Hobart and Mabel Speegle’s seven children. After graduating from Hampton High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. After receiving flight training, he was transferred to the 385th Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Corps in England, where he held the rank of first lieutenant navigator. He was proud to have served his country in World War II, where he flew 33 missions in a B-17. Two of these missions provided humanitarian aid.

After returning from the war, he attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute, now known as Virginia Tech, where he became an avid, lifelong Hokie fan. As a member of the Class of 1949, he was formally inducted as a member of The Old Guard of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association on Oct. 15, 1999. Before graduating with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, he met and married the love of his life, Jane Brimmer Speegle.

He was preceded in death by both parents, Hobart and Mabel Speegle; brother, James William “Bill” Speegle; and a sister-in-law, Katherine Collie Speegle.

He is survived by his “bride” of 67 years, Jane; two children, Dr. John Hobart Speegle (Betty) and Melissa Jane Speegle (Charles Dennis Carroll); two grandchildren, Kathryn Henderson (Peter) and Ashley Schmitt (Zach); five great-grandchildren, Peter Vanwirt Henderson III, Elizabeth Grace Henderson, Tybee Fairbank Henderson, Hobart (Hobie) Faye Henderson and Adelaide Elizabeth Schmitt; five sisters, Virginia Kyle, Betty Chapman (Milt), Anne Wentworth, Frances Cocke and Ellen Moseley (Robert); and numerous nieces and nephews and their families. Lastly, he is survived by his four-legged children, Nowell and Bradley Speegle.

He was president and co-founder of Warwick Air Conditioning Inc. As a member of Hilton Christian Church for over 50 years, he was elected as both an elder emeritus and trustee emeritus and served on the board. He was a past president of the Warwick Lions Club and served on the boards of United Way and American Red Cross. He was a member of “the greatest generation” and felt that life had been a great ride!

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 26, at Hilton Christian Church, 100 James River Drive, Newport News. A reception will follow the service at the church.

Memorial funds may be made in lieu of flowers to a favorite charity of your choice.