Robert J. E. Speck

Robert J. E. Speck

IRVINGTON—Robert John Edward Speck, 82, died on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, respected and admired by all who knew him.

Bob is survived by his wife of 42 years, Olga; his son, Richard of Brisbane, Australia; his daughter, Georgina of Northern New South Wales, Australia; his son, Robert and his wife, Vanessa, of Virginia Beach; his daughter, Sarah Speck Parada and her husband, Roberto, of Arlington; and his seven grandchildren, Sam, Kate, Christian, Vivienne, Sophie, Benjamin and Daphne.

Bob was born in Sheffield, England, on November 12, 1936, to Albert Edward and Dulcie Moore Speck. He grew up with his two sisters, Ann Fanthorpe and Susan Hill, both living in England.

Bob attended Eckington Grammar School where he achieved academic success and earned the status of Head Boy (valedictorian). After school, Bob completed two years of National Service in the British Army where he reached the rank of sergeant in the Education Corp.

After the Army, Bob took a computer programming job in Surrey, England. He moved to Australia in 1962, when he was invited by the Australian government to computerize the Bureau of Census and Statistics. In 1963, Bob began his long career with Reader’s Digest. He worked in computer programming installing some of the first IBM 350 computers. In 1970, he was promoted to magazine circulation manager. Bob created and led the first direct mail programming system which Reader’s Digest used into the late 1990s.

In 1980, Bob and Olga moved to Chappaqua, N.Y, where he continued his career at the Digest as international magazine marketing director. He retired in 1996. Bob was an active member of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Mount Kisco, N.Y., where he served on the vestry and numerous committees.

Bob and Olga moved to Irvington in 1998. Bob enjoyed watching and playing tennis, playing squash, sailing, traveling and being part of his children’s and grandchildren’s lives. He traveled to Australia annually for one to two months to visit family and friends.

Bob was an active member of Grace Episcopal Church, Kilmarnock, where he served on the outreach, Shrine Mont, ushers, greeters and yard sale committees. He also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the Ramp Building Program.

A celebration of Bob’s life was held at Grace Episcopal Church on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Episcopal Church (memo: Children’s Playground).