Nashville, TN – Faye Speer, a member of the legendary Speer Family, has graduated to her Heavenly home. She passed away early this morning in her Nashville, TN home, surrounded by her family.
Faye Ihrig Speer, age 86, was born on October 19th in Augusta, KY. Speer attended Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville before marrying her beloved Brock Speer on August 31, 1948. Together, the couple enjoyed 51 years of marriage and the birth of three children, until Brock’s death in 1999.
Upon their marriage, Mrs. Speer joined her husband’s family, The Speer Family, as their alto singer. She traveled the country with the group, leaving only briefly to be home with her young children. Upon the high school graduation of their youngest child, Faye rejoined the group, which was now under Brock’s management, following the passing of Dad and Mom Speer.
Throughout the 60s and 70s, The Speer Family could be seen on televisions across the nation as part of the Gospel Singing Jubilee program, as well as shows such as the Gospel Singing Caravan. They enjoyed success on the Singing News radio chart with songs such as “What Sins Are You Talking About,” “Saved To The Uttermost,” and “He’s Still In The Fire.” Many Speer Family projects were awarded GRAMMY nominations, as well as GMA Dove Awards. The group was invited into the Gospel Music Association Hall Of Fame in 1998. They were also inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall Of Fame, and the first to receive GMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Most notably, the family was honored with the opportunity to perform for President Jimmy Carter at the White House during his presidency, as well as their entrance into the Congressional Record on the group’s 60th anniversary. At the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion in 1997, Faye was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.
After 75 years, Brock’s declining health led to the The Speer Family’s retirement at the National Quartet Convention in 1998. Following the group’s retirement, and Brock’s death the next year, Faye continued to make occasional appearances on the Gaither Homecoming stage and videos with the remaining members of the family. In 2015, Faye was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Trevecca Nazarene University in recognition of her years of service and support of the university.
Faye Speer is survived by her three children: Suzan, Marc (Joyce) Speer, and Brian (Allison) Speer, as well as a host of other friends and family who loved her dearly.
Funeral arrangements are in progress and will be announced at a later date.