In Memory

Harriett H Downs (Speeks) - Class Of 1938

Washington 1938 Harriett H (Downs) Speeks

Dec. 14, 1920 - Set. 04, 2017

PLYMOUTH - Former South Bend resident, Harriett Henrietta Speeks, 96, of Plymouth, IN died at 5:05 a.m. Monday, September 4th at Hospice House of South Bend surrounded by her loving family. Mrs. Speeks was born December 14, 1920 in South Bend to the late Helen (Michor) and Charles Downs and was a lifetime area resident. She graduated from Washington High School in South Bend in 1938. On June 21, 1947 in South Bend as Harriett H. Downs she married Lawrence S. Speeks, Sr. who preceded her in death in 1981. She was also preceded in death by a step-son, Lawrence S. Speeks, Jr. and her siblings, Adaline McCan, Ivy Downs (Sr. Charity), and Harry Downs. She is survived by two daughters, Peggy Bennitt (Richard) of Plymouth and Helen Shaul of South Bend; two sons, Everett Speeks (Christine) of Granville, OH and Sheldon Speeks of South Bend; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

Throughout her life, mom was dedicated to her family. She assisted in raising her grandsons, as well as caring for several of her relatives. Mom loved all aspects of gardening... even weeding. We often joked with her about the number of vegetables she plated every year. She thoroughly enjoyed ceramics, and created numerous beautiful pieces that will remind us of her every time we see them.

Mom was an avid reader and couldn't get enough word games. She felt books were the window to the world. She read to her grandchildren from the time they were born until the time they were too big to sit on her lap.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 8th in the Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Rd. Committal services and burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday, September 7th in the funeral home.

Memorial contributions in Harriett's name may be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Pl., Mishawaka, IN, 46545. Family and friends may leave email condolences at

Published in South Bend Tribune on Sept. 6, 2017

jmc 6 sep 2017