Donna June Hendershot Speaker passed away in her sleep at Somerby Retirement Community in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina on 21 December 2023.
Donna was 100 years old, and was born in Mounds, Oklahoma on 7 November 1923 to Leslie and Dorsa Hendershot. She graduated from High School and Secretarial School. During World War II, she did clerical work in the Douglas Aircraft plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma where B-24 Bombers were being built. During that time Donna met and married Sergeant Orval Patrick Slater from Dallas, Texas. Four months later, on 4 November 1944, he was killed in action in Germany. After the war Donna moved to Annapolis, Maryland where she was the secretary to the Chaplain at the US Naval Academy. During June week in 1950 at the Naval Academy, she married graduating Midshipman Edwin “Ted” Speaker. Ted took his commission in the Air Force and his assignments took them to Japan, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Cape Canaveral, and the Pentagon.
After Ted retired from the Air Force they remained in the Washington, DC area as he did a second career with NASA. After a second retirement they moved to Satellite Beach, Florida. In 2013 Donna and Ted moved to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, to be closer to their son Greg, a retired Army Officer working at The Citadel. Ted passed away last February and is interned at Arlington
National Cemetery; Donna will join him there.
She is survived by her children, Dr. Gail E. Carr of Gainesville, Florida and Major Gregory C. Speaker of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Also, by grandchildren Jeffrey Speaker, Jennifer Carr, Jonathan Carr, and Donna’s niece, Jeanne Grise of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and by her great granddaughter, Carmen Valverde Carr.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.mcalister-smith.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral Home and Cremation, 1520 Rifle Range Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464, (843) 884-3833.