Merrill R. Speas, 88, of Newton, died Sunday, May 2, 2021, at Nelson Manor. A graveside service will begin at 2:30 pm. Friday, May 7 at Timber Creek Cemetery in rural Ferguson. The Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory is handling the arrangements.
Merrill, the son of Clarence and Goldie (Clark) Speas, was born Sept. 26, 1932, in Nevada. He grew up in the Gilman area and graduated from Gilman High School. Merrill served his county in the U.S. Army from January of 1953 until December of 1954. Merrill then received his undergraduate and also a double masters degree in elementary education and secondary education from Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville, Mo. On Feb. 26, 1956, Merrill was united in marriage with Lois Ferguson in Marshalltown. They made their home in Missouri, where Merrill would serve as principal in many different school districts. Upon retirement, Merrill and Lois moved to Iowa. He was a member and served in various leadership roles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Merrill enjoyed genealogy and doing jigsaw puzzles.
Merrill is survived by his wife, Lois Speas of Newton; two sons, Clinton (Barbara) Speas of Mesa, Ariz., and Benjamin (Dru) Speas of Sandy, Utah; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; his brother, Jerrold; and two sisters, Joyce and Marie. He was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Samuel Speas; five brothers; two sisters; and a sister in infancy.