We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Sunset Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home
Gary Lynn Speed, age 57 of Odessa, TX passed from this earth to be with his Heavenly Father on February 10, 2021 after a battle with Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease. Gary was a member of Stonegate Fellowship in Odessa, and his faith in Christ was an essential part of his life from a very young age.
Gary is survived by his wife, Barbie Beth Speed; daughter Krislyn Bramwell and husband Zane; stepdaughter Taylor Renee Brake and husband Mark; stepson Cole Robinson, and 6 grandchildren who were the delight of his heart (Braydon Hotchkin, Jailyn Hotchkin, Lily Jeter, Bayne Brake, Ace Brake and Stone Brake)
He is also survived by his mother Lettie Gene Speed; brother Mike Speed and wife Lisa; sister Gena Wright and husband Jerry; uncle Sammie Smith and wife Vicki; nephew Ross Speed and wife Callie; niece Taylor Griesbach and husband Chase; niece Allison Speed; niece Lyndsey Williams and husband Shea; nephew Blane Wolf; niece Addison Swift; nephew Luke Swift; nephew Jake Swift; cousin Kelleigh Sommer and husband Richard; Father-in-law and Mother-in-Law Jerry and Ricky Lane, and Sister-in-law and Brother-in-law Laura and Barry Swift.
He was preceded in death by his father Gerald Wayne Speed and son Jarrett Perkins.
Gary was born in Kermit, TX on August 16, 1963 to Gerald and Lettie Gene Speed. He graduated from Kermit High School in 1982 where he played football, basketball and ran track as a proud Yellowjacket. Gary earned an Associate’s degree from Bee County College, a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from UTPB. Gary worked as a juvenile probation officer for the Ector County Youth Center until his promotion to Assistant Director. He retired from the Youth Center after 30 years of dedicated service to the youth of Ector County.
Gary’s second job (which he never considered a job) was that of a High School and College Football Official. He called games on the fields of West Texas and beyond for 27 years. He was proud to officiate over 142 Division II College football games in the Lone Star Conference. Gary loved officiating, and his biggest passion was helping young men learn to officiate the game, teaching them and mentoring them. He called them “THE GUYS” and often told Barbie “it’s a brotherhood unlike anything you will ever understand.”
Gary was a member of TASO, Texas Association of Sports Officials for the Permian Basin and SWCFO. One of the highlights of his football career was to officiate the NCAA Division II Semi-Final playoff game on December 11, 2010 in Duluth, MN.
After seven years of dating, Gary and Barbie were married on June 3, 2017 in Granbury, TX. Gary was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. Everyone who knew Gary knew his love of 80’s rock-and-roll, chicken fried steak, Nascar, Snickers, Pepsi, University of Texas Longhorns and his rescue dog Lucy. Gary was a very helpful guy and always looked for ways to help all people. Mr. Rogers couldn’t have said it better…” When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’”. That was Gary!
Gary was honored to receive several special awards and recognitions in 2020. At a private event, Gary was the recipient of the inaugural award from the SWCFO for his years of service and dedication to college football. Gary was also honored at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa on September 24, 2020 for his 27 years of football officiating service. UTPB Head Football Coach, Justin Carrigan presented Gary with a UTPB #10 Jersey (Gary’s high school jersey number). State Representative Brooks Landgraf presented Gary with the Texas State Flag in honor of Gary’s 30 years of service at the Ector County Youth Center. Ector County Commissioner Eddy Shelton and Odessa Mayor David Turner presented Gary with a proclamation that September 24, 2020 was officially named “Gary Speed Day”. The following night Gary was honored on Walton Field in Kermit where he was presented with two #10 Kermit Yellowjacket football jerseys.
The family wishes to extend sincere thanks to Dr. Abdul Kadir and all of the physicians at UT Southwestern Neurological Center in Dallas, Hospice of Midland/Odessa, the special nurses and caregivers who aided in Gary’s care, the CJD Foundation, special friends, family and church members who have surrounded us with love, kindness and prayers throughout this difficult year.
A visitation will be held at Stonegate Fellowship in Odessa on Monday February 22nd, 2021 from 5-7pm. Funeral services will be held at 10:00am on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at Stonegate Fellowship Odessa. A private burial will follow the service at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Odessa.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in Gary’s honor to Hospice of Midland/Odessa (hospiceofodessa.org) or the CJD Foundation (cjdfoundation.org).
We are all Speedo Strong!