Robert Thomas “Tom” Speed, 68, of Howard’s Knob Road, Boone, N.C., passed away Friday morning, June 5, 2020.
He was born October 9, 1951 in Wake County, a son of the late James Davis Speed and Martha Matthews Speed. Tom came to Boone in 1969 as a freshman at Appalachian State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, as well as, a Master of Arts in Economics and Business. He worked as a probation and parole officer in Watauga County for a number of years before making the decision to pursue a law degree. He earned his Juris Doctorate in 1982 from Campbell Law School. He then returned to Watauga County with his first wife, Micki and young son Davis and began practicing law in the office of John Bingham. Following Mr. Binghams death, Tom opened his practice; served, worked and fought for those he represented for more than 30 years. Tom took great pride in his work and strived to be the best at everything he did. He demanded excellence of himself and expected if from everyone else as well.
Tom was a big-hearted, generous and kind person. He helped so many and especially had a gigantic place in his heart for those in need, animals and children of all ages. He never met a stranger and could strike up a conversation with anyone he met. Tom loved to bird hunt with his dogs and relished his time with his hunting buddies. He especially enjoyed his outings with Judge Lacy Thornburg and their conversations about politics, life and Toms father.
Toms quick wit and sometimes inappropriate sense of humor kept his family and friends laughing. There was never a dull moment when he was in the room. His presence filled every space he occupied.
He fiercely loved his family and friends. He enjoyed living and working in Boone, but his heart remained at the family home place in Franklin County, North Carolina. His admiration and respect of his fathers legacy and work drove him to preserve and protect the farm as he so affectionally referred to it.
Tom had great appreciation for tradition. He insisted each Easter Sunday and Mothers Day that Sara, as well as her mother, had a corsage to wear to church. He had great compassion for his friends when they experienced troubled times and expressed that through actions, words and beautifully written notes. He was very sincere and expressed his love and concern to the person in their time of trouble. He always made phone calls instead of texting or emailing. He despised social media and thought it to be the downfall of society as we know it. He was one of a kind and can never be replaced. However, his spirit will live on in all the lives he has touched throughout his life. His presence will be greatly missed in this town, county, and state. Go in peace Tom, and acquire that rest you so greatly deserve!
Tom is survived by his wife, Sara Earp Speed of the home; one son, Davis Speed and wife Andrea of Louisburg, North Carolina, and one brother, Mark Speed and wife Camille of Louisburg. He is also survived by his beloved dogs, numerous adopted children and his closest friends who are extended family.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Claudia Speed.
Funeral services for Robert Thomas “Tom” Speed will be private. Officiating will be Pastor Gordon Noble. Burial will follow on the family farm in Louisburg, North Carolina.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Watauga Humane Society, PO Box 1835, Boone, North Carolina, 28607, the Franklin County Humane Society, PO Box 338, Youngsville, North Carolina, 27596, or to the ASPCA at www.aspca.org.
Online condolences may be sent to the Speed family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.