A celebration of the life of Chris Speasmaker will be held Saturday, September 4, 2021 at South Main Baptist Church, 4100 Main Street, Houston, TX, 77002 in the Westmoreland Chapel at 10:00am. Masks will be required for in person attendance. The church will graciously provide a webcast of the event; link to be provided later.
Christopher Ray Speasmaker left those he loved most and those who loved him on Monday, August 23, 2021. He was born on June 17, 1961 on the Zaragoza Air Base in Spain. His father, Philip William Speasmaker, served in the US Army 8th Air Corp during WWII and was stationed at Kimbolton, England as a B-17 air combat crew when he met and married Marion Dorothy Buxton from Tooting London. Chris was the fifth of 5 children born to the Speasmakers while serving across the globe and prior to retiring to Texas. Chris was raised in Waco, Texas and attended Baylor University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education in 1985. He met Lore Lagrone at Baylor while working for his father at the Baylor Bookstore. They shared a love of 10 cent bottled cokes in the breakroom, cats and Christmas among many other things. They married with a Christmas flair on Epiphany weekend, January 7, 1987 in Miller Chapel in the Tidwell Bible Building at Baylor. Chris & Lore found a new, more profound love they shared when they were blessed with the birth of two sons, Latham Buxton and Caleb Jeremiah.
Chris served in the United States Navy from 1988-1993. His final active-duty station was in Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light HSL-44 Mayport, FL as an Aviation Electronics Technician on SH-60 (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System – LAMPS MK III.) Chris was out to sea for what seemed like most of their early marriage and his time in the Navy, including during the Persian Gulf War. Lore worried less about enemy fire than whatever sea creature or bird Chris was feeding off the back of the ship.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Chris & Lore returned to Texas where Chris attended Texas State Technical College where he studied Aircraft Pilot Training. It was located on the former James Connolly Air Force Base where his father had served, and close to where his, now retired, parents lived. Latham and Caleb got to see Oma & Opa (aka Grumpa) Speasmaker a lot. Dad took them to see Air Force One when it landed at TSTC when then President Bush was in the state. Chris became a Commercial Pilot and a Certified Flight Instructor, and taught students at TSTC from 1995-2001. He loved the teaching and the students; he loved landings at Easterwood Airfield in College Station as it was the right distance for training subjects with students that could be reviewed while eating at Freebirds at TAMU.
In 2002, Chris agreed (was persuaded? coerced?) to moving to Houston to be near Lore’s sister, Lisa. Together they built a house in Pearland in 2003, and Chris began his favorite role in life, at home Dad with all the trimmings – volunteer work in all things, particularly involving neighbors, children, and being a handyman. Our community is very diverse, and Chris seemed to be the neighbor all the elderly, immigrant grandparents felt comfortable talking to regardless of English proficiency.
In Pearland, Chris would ride bicycles with the boys to and from elementary school and assisted with PTA and school functions. For middle school and junior high years, he was the driver for last minute drop-offs, pick-ups, or forgotten items. During high school years, Chris built sets and managed props for theatre, helped with band functions, JROTC events, and supported Dawson football on the Eagle Crew.
As a family, the Speasmakers attended South Main Baptist Church in Houston where Chris participated in mission trips, taught 4th grade Sunday School and Boys on Mission, assisted with the Manna Ministry, Cookies and Carols, theatre productions, and bible school projects.
This period of his life included another passion – Boy Scouts. Chris served in Cub Scout Pack 446 from 2003 forward in multiple roles including Den Leader and Cubmaster. Once Latham crossed over to Boy Scouts, Chris too crossed over to work with Boy Scout Troop 414 in varied capacities over the years, including Scoutmaster. Chris worked hard with lots of young men over the years as they learned and developed. As a part of the troop, he mentored many boys, including his own two sons, to become Eagle Scouts.
Chris has always been the Pied Piper of Speasmaker, the fun uncle, the leader that yelled at you to do and not to do! He was a wealth of knowledge, both useful and unique, trivial and humorous, and the children around him over the years absorbed a lot – even when their parents might have preferred otherwise.
Chris was preceded in death by his father Phil, his mother Marion, his brother John Albert, and his brother William Joseph (Bill).
Chris is survived by many who loved him and who grieve that he is gone too soon: son Caleb Speasmaker; son Latham Speasmaker and his beautiful bride, Caroleena (Ortiz) and their soon-to-be-born daughter Catalina Lorena; Lore Lagrone and extended family; sister, Diane Lynn Speasmaker Dunn, and brother, Philip Arthur Speasmaker; many nephews, nieces, neighbors, friends, scouts, cats and dogs.
Chris will never meet in person the soon to arrive granddaughter that he was SO excited to know already! She will never meet him on this earth, but she will know him! It will take a lifetime to tell her all the stories about Grandpa Chris, but we will tell her all the many wonderful stories. His memory will be a blessing to her and to us all. Our prayer for her is that she will meet him one day in the presence of Jesus and know them both for herself.
Memorials should be made to the organization of your choice, but suggestions include (in no particular order) ASPCA, Keep Pearland Beautiful, to the Lone Star Flight Museum particularly to the maintenance of the B-17 Bomber there, and other organizations for the support of veterans, wildlife, children, and scouts.