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Mr Larry Speakes

Larry Melvin Speakes, 74, died at his residence in Cleveland , MS January 10th. Private graveside services were held at North Cleveland Cemetery. Cleveland Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
He was born September 13, 1939 in Cleveland to Harry Earl and Ethlyn Fincher Speakes. He grew up in Merigold, graduated from Merigold High School and received his Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Mississippi .
Mr. Speakes began his newspaper career at Ole Miss where he served as editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Mississippian. After college he became editor of The Oxford Eagle and later returned to the Mississippi Delta where he served as Managing Editor of The Bolivar Commercial in Cleveland . Several years later he became General Manager and Editor for Progress Publishers in Leland , MS .
In 1968 he moved to Washington , DC and served as Press Secretary to Senator James O. Eastland until 1974. In the final days of Richard Nixon's presidency, Mr. Speakes was named Staff Assistant at the White House where he served as Press Secretary to the Special Counsel to the President in the Watergate hearings. After President Nixon's resignation, he was named Assistant Press Secretary to President Gerald Ford.
During the presidential campaign of 1976 Mr. Speakes was Press Secretary to President Ford's Vice Presidential candidate, Bob Dole. After the election was lost to Jimmy Carter Mr. Speakes worked for Hill and Knowlton, a public relations firm in Washington , DC .
After Ronald Reagan won the election of 1980, Mr. Speakes worked with the transition team and subsequently was named Deputy Press Secretary working under the Press Secretary Jim Brady who was injured in the assassination attempt in March of 1981. For six years Mr. Speakes served as acting press secretary and held the title Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary. He resigned in 1987 and became a Vice President at Merrill Lynch in New York . He returned to Washington in 1988 and eventually held positions as Vice President of communications and public relations with Northern Telecom and also the U. S. Postal Service from which he retired in 2008.
Mr. Speakes was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by a daughter, Sandy Speakes Huerta (Raymond) of Cleveland; sons Scott Speakes (Julie), also of Cleveland and Jeremy Speakes (Donna Michele) of Clifton, VA; six grandchildren, Justin Huerta (Tasha), Haley Huerta Kelly (Eric), both of Cleveland; Jefferson Speakes and Brennan Speakes of Clifton, VA; Shelton Speakes and Braxton Clark of Cleveland; one great-grandson, Wally Huerta of Cleveland.
Memorials may be made to Sunny Seniors, an Alzheimer's Respite program at 107 S. Victoria Ave. Cleveland , MS 38732 or the Alzheimer's Association of America, 322 Eighth Ave. 7th Floor, New York , NY 10001


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Guestbook

To the Speakes Family:My family and I would like to express our deepest sympathy over the loss of Mr. Speakes. May you find comfort in your loving memories and the warmth of family and friends. When we read Genesis 1:28 and 31, we find that sickness and death were not a part of God's original purpose. With this in mind, it is reassuring to know that our Creator plans to restore his original purpose and make it possible for all mankind (including loved ones we have lost in death) to live forever under perfect conditions. (Revelation 21:3-5; John 5:28, 29) It is our hope that these words bring you a measure of comfort during this difficult time. Once again, please accept our condolences as you deal with the loss of Mr. Speakes and contemplate the hope of seeing him again.

Elton Family - January 31, 2014 at 10:26 AM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

I watched and admired Larry for years, he went from the Delta to serve the leader of the free world, he did it with professionalism and grace every day. I didn't know him but admired himEd ThompsonHopkinton, Massachusetts

Ed Thompson - January 17, 2014 at 04:13 PM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Please accept my sincere sympathy on Larry's passing. Working in the Nixon (and later Ford) White Houses, we shared many challenging times - but Larry was always there to keeping us laughing. He was wonderful to work for, and I have many fond, unforgettable memories of him - a nice, kind man. Sincerely, Connie Thumma Derman

connie derman - January 13, 2014 at 01:41 PM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.Julian and Beverly Hardy

Beverly Hardy - January 12, 2014 at 07:04 PM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

You are in our prayers. May God's grace comfort you.Bill and Jeanne Hays and family

Jeanne Hays - January 12, 2014 at 05:03 PM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

So very sorry for your Loss. Larry was a very special man. Prayers for you all.June & Mike Patterson

June & Mike Patterson - January 10, 2014 at 09:38 PM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

My condolences to the family of a great person, that I had the fortunate opportunity to work for at USPS Headquarters. Larry was unique, as you all well know, and may he always rest in peace. Larry George, Valrico, Florida.

Larry George - January 10, 2014 at 06:51 PM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Friends and Family uploaded 1 to the gallery.

Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM