Raymond Tillman “Ray” Speak Sr., age 86, of Sparta, passed away in his home Monday, January 10, 2022. He was born December 14, 1935 in Mentor, Missouri, the son of Harrison Allison Speak and Tressa May Cathern (Perkins) Speak. He was a graduate of Ozark High School.
Ray served in many capacities in Christian County. He was the Chief of Police for Ozark, and was a member of the volunteer Ozark Fire Department. Before retirement Ray worked at Consumers Markets for 20 years.
Ray had a love of racing and was a skilled mechanic. Whatever vehicle he worked on he made it run as fast as possible, whether it was a race car, motorcycle, boat, or simply his lawn mower. As a mechanic, Ray worked for Chevrolet in Ozark, and Lincoln Mercury. One car he built won 17 track records in a single season. Another car ran in four state circuits undefeated. To this day he holds two AHRA records. Ray earned many trophies, and was inducted into the area Racing Hall of Fame, as well as being awarded two Sportsmanship Awards voted on by his fellow racing opponents. If it ran fast, Ray would make it run faster!
Ray was a friend to everyone he met and loved to engage in conversations. He was loved by his family and many in his community.
Survivors include: His son, Ray Speak Jr. of Sparta; three daughters, Cheryl Friend and Mark of Willard, Teresa Jones and Rick of Garrison, and Melinda Jester and Terry of Ozark; his brother, Max Speak and wife Ann of Ozark; grandchildren LeAnna Gilbert and husband Josh, Candra Gilbert and husband Jeremy, Ryan Friend and wife Jeanne, Taylor Friend and wife Ashley, Bailey Cannon and husband Michael, and Brant Jester; nine great-grandchildren; other relatives and many, many friends.
Funeral services with Fire Department Escort will be 2:00 PM Thursday, January 13, in Adams Funeral Home, Ozark, with Ted Spencer officiating. Burial will follow in Sparta Cemetery. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM Thursday until service time.