Anita R. (George) Speece

Anita R. (George) Speece

November 11, 1947 – August 24, 2023

Anita Ray (George) Speece passed away peacefully on August 24, 2023, surrounded by her children and secure in the love of her family and friends.  Hers was a life full of joys and sorrows, successes and failures, and love and loss.  Throughout it all, Anita lived every moment with incomparable integrity, unwavering dependability, and the rare ability to meet every high or low with pragmatism, grace, and immeasurable love.

Anita was born on November 11, 1947, in North Platte, Nebraska to Raymond and Marguerite George.  Anita was the oldest of three children, followed by her younger sister, Peggy, and brother, Riley.  Anita spent her formative years in Hershey, Nebraska as a true farm girl and would proudly tell you she learned to drive a tractor at 13.  In 1963, Anita’s family moved to York, Nebraska where her rural upbringing continued.  Anita attended York High School where she shared her musical talents as an organist with the school’s orchestra and worked part-time in the local jewelry store.  Anita met her future husband, Todd Speece, in high school.  Anita and Todd graduated in 1966 and both proceeded to Wayne State College.  Anita had a keen mathematical mind and desired to pursue accounting during a time when women were not widely accepted in the professional workforce.  As a result, Anita became a teacher and graduated from Wayne State in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in business education.

Anita married Todd on August 23, 1969, in York, Nebraska.  Anita and Todd moved to St. Paul, Nebraska shortly thereafter, where both began teaching at the local high school.  Anita taught typing for several years before she became the director of education at a regional business school.  In the late 1980s, Anita found her true professional passion when she started working in the financial services industry, putting her math skills to great use.  Anita provided countless individuals with astute financial advice for over three decades as an insurance agent, tax preparer, and financial planner.  It is no surprise that even in her final days Anita’s attention was focused on making sure all of her financial affairs were in order.  Anita attributed her professional success to the individualized attention and care she gave to each client or project.  Anita was incredibly intelligent, steadfastly reliable, meticulously thorough, and directly to the point–skills she carried with her wherever she went.

After almost 30 years in St. Paul, Anita moved to Grand Island in 1999, acquired a vacation home in San Tan Valley, Arizona in 2011, and ultimately relocated to Omaha in 2015.  Anita was a wonderful friend and neighbor in every locale.  Those privileged enough to call Anita friend, knew she gave her whole heart, caring deeply for her friends, neighbors, and their families, and making the effort to maintain meaningful relationships across all distances and time.

It was in Omaha that Anita met her companion, accomplice, and sometimes-chauffeur, Steve Brown.  Steve was a wonderful addition to Anita’s family and a calming counterpoint in her life.  While their time together was short, Anita and Steve had great adventures and enjoyed traveling, socializing, and above-all, relaxing together.  With Steve, Anita was able to slow down the frenetic pace that often characterized her days and take time to simply enjoy the passage of time.

Anita was a true renaissance woman when it came to her interests:  she loved to travel far and wide and enjoyed trying new food and drink (especially wine!) on a regular basis.  She was also an extraordinarily talented musician, sharing her piano and organ playing skills throughout high school, college, and at St. Mark’s church in St. Paul.  She loved to feed her family and friends and her freezers and pantry were always stocked.  Anita took great care in her appearance and wardrobe, enjoying unique jewelry and fashion, and several retail stores were on a first name basis with her.  As is evident, Anita indeed truly lived every experience she had.  Her unconditional love, courage, and pragmatism defined her approach to life, including in her most beloved role as mother and grandmother.

Anita had three children:  Preston, Brett, and Lyndsay.  Anita had the pleasure of watching her family grow as each of her children married and had children of their own.  Anita’s grandchildren —  Jackson and Elly (son and daughter to Preston and Kendra), Isaac (son to Brett and Jill), Idriss, Cyril, Elias and Chandler (sons to Lyndsay and Mohamed)—were her greatest joys.  Anita was involved in all of their lives as a constant source of support, sage advice, and immeasurable love.  They, in turn, all knew of the remarkable woman that was their Grandma Nita.  And while those who survive her will always carry a broken heart, it helps to know that she has been re-united in heaven with our dear Isaac.

Anita was a force unlike any other and the world lost a truly amazing human being.  And while her loss will be felt profoundly and unendingly, she loved so hard her love remains in the hearts of every life she touched.

Preceded in death by her parents, Raymond and Marguerite George; husband, Todd Speece; and beloved grandson, Isaac Speece (son of Brett and Jill Speece).  She is survived by her sons, Preston Speece (Kendra) and Brett Speece (Jill); daughter, Lyndsay Speece (Mohamed Doray); grandchildren: Jackson and Eleanor Speece (children of Preston and Kendra), Idriss, Cyril, Elias, and Chandler Doray (children of Lyndsay and Mohamed); siblings, Riley George and Peggy Dunkin.

VISITATION: Sunday, September 3rd from 3pm to 5pm at the West Center Chapel.  FUNERAL SERVICE: Monday, September 4th at 11am at Rejoice! Lutheran Church, 2556 S. 138th St.  Memorials are suggested to York, Neb. Community Foundation (Peyton Parker Lane Playground).

To view a live broadcast of the Service, please visit and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.



  • Sue Maiwald Posted August 26, 2023 7:37 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss! She was an amazing lady and so glad to have gotten to know her through the years. Its very hard to believe she is gone so soon.

  • Debra Lemburg Posted August 26, 2023 10:03 pm

    Sorry for your loss

  • Rhonda Kazebeer Posted August 26, 2023 10:09 pm

    Brett and Jill I am so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed my visits with Anita. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  • Maryjo Harrahill Posted August 26, 2023 11:08 pm

    You all have my deepest sympathy may God keep you and your families in his loving care! Such a pretty lady!

  • Julie and Chad Hoffman Posted August 27, 2023 11:10 am

    Jill and Brett,
    We are thinking of you both at this very difficult time! We will be holding you up in prayers! What a beautiful reunion she must be having with Isaac. She sounds like an incredible woman, which in turn shows in you! HUGE HUGS!

  • Judy Miner Posted August 27, 2023 11:49 am

    Such a beautifully written summary of the life of a beautiful woman…inside and out. Her presence will be missed by so many, but the memories of times with her will live with me forever. My love and sympathy to all the family, Steve, and the friends who are grieving losing her.

  • Janie Watson Posted August 27, 2023 11:57 am

    What a beautifully written tribute. I feel like it captured Anita’s essence and spirit. I am so saddened by Anita’s passing. Even though I only personally know Preston, I feel like I know Anita’s whole family as she truly, truly cared so deeply. I am extending my heartfelt condolences to each of you as you navigate this terrain and the loss you carry with her passing. Anita lived life fully and truly made a difference in this world. We are all better people for having had her in our lives.

  • Fran Grimes Posted August 27, 2023 12:30 pm

    This is a lovely tribute written for Anita. She truly was an amazing woman. I enjoyed working with her for several years in Grand Island. Prayers for her family and friends.

  • Kay & Gary Justesen Posted August 27, 2023 12:55 pm

    I have fond memories of Anita at St Mark’s Lutheran Church in St Paul. She was an amazing.organist & member. Our children were close in age, so our paths crossed many times. She was an example for all woman. Sour high with the angels Anita.

  • Dee Falcone, John Leyden Posted August 28, 2023 11:10 am

    We are so sorry to hear of Anita’s passing! We met her through Stevee as she accompanied him to many of our meetings, and she spoke of her kids and grandkids often. Even though we didn’t know her very well personally, it was evident she was a very kind and impressive woman. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all!

  • Maureen Yaw Posted August 28, 2023 5:08 pm

    I have had the most wonderful opportunities to spend man fun times with Anita for the past 10 years and I treasure the times we spent together. From the first meeting I knew that Anita was one awesome woman and a real caring individual. Everything written about her in the obituary is totally Anita! If you met Anita, you became her friend as she is so likeable and fun to be around. Heaven gained a beautiful angel and we here on earth can cherish our numerous memories of the one and only Anita Speece! Hugs and prayers to everyone that will certainly miss her. I know I will!

  • Dianne Vorderstrasse Posted August 28, 2023 5:12 pm

    Since sympathy in the loss of your mother.

  • Sherri Stepanek Dzingle Posted August 29, 2023 7:50 am

    So very sorry for your loss – what a great tribute to your beautiful mother.

  • Gary Java Posted August 29, 2023 8:28 am

    God Bless a great Lady! So glad to have met her a few times through watching Elly golf! Prayers for her and her loving Family!

  • June Cates Oliphant Posted August 29, 2023 9:31 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Anita helped me with medical issues when I retired from Nebr. Dept. of Health and Human Services in Grand Island. I appreciated her help.

  • Luther B Tjernagel (Lou) Posted September 2, 2023 9:26 am

    I had the opportunity to work for Anita when she lived and owned her businness in St. Paul. A very first class person. Eventually I purchased the H & R Block business from her. I continued to do her taxes for the next 8 to 10 years. She was a very caring person, strong in her faith for God. May God provide strength for the entire Family.

  • Ross and Stephanie Clemenshaw Posted September 2, 2023 2:11 pm

    We were always happy to see Anita and her family at Solera, She will be missed!
    We were very sorry to hear of her passing..

  • Michelle Kristine Kanzaki Posted September 2, 2023 7:14 pm

    May God’s love and peace hold you in this time of loss and may you remember the good times and her strength in adversity. May light perpetual shine upon her. May she and Isaac find joy in their being together once again.

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