Deceased November 1, 2019

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In Memory

Robert Walker Speier, 95, of Whittier, Calif., died at his home Nov. 1, 2019, of heart failure. He passed peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family.

Born on May 15 in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of the late Charles and Gladys (Walker) Speier. Robert was a radio operator, staff sergeant, in the 327th Ferrying Squadron of the Army Air Force, stationed in southern France, Italy and North Africa. He received the theater service medals and was honorably discharged at 21 in 1945.

In 1957, at age 33, Robert married Marcia King in Westfield, N.J. They had met while studying at Yale. They had three children, Naomi, Brooks and Grant.

Robert was a graduate of Garden City High School, a 1949 graduate of Amherst and a 1955 B.F.A. and M.F.A. grad of Yale. He received his M.A. from Hotchkiss, where he was the art instructor from 1956 to 1962.

From 1962 until 1970 he was at the University of Washington. He then chaired the art department at Whittier College from 1970 to 1990. His career as a painter spanned several decades. This was his passion; he finished his last painting in 2019.

He was passionate about life, inspired all ages in conversation and embraced the future. He daydreamed about living in Avignon, France, enjoying the wine and traveling throughout Europe. A lifelong lover of hi-fi music, he constantly adjusted his stereo speakers to get the perfect sound. He played tennis until age 90 and watched all the football and tennis matches. He was witty, clever and a joy to be around.

He is survived by daughter Naomi and son Brooks, along with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A private service will be held in the future.

Jason W. Ashley