Edwin Clayton Speed, 95, of Aiken, passed away peacefully on November 27th, 2023, in his home and surrounded by his family. Ed is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 67 years, Mary Alice, who he loved dearly and who he always referred to as “the love of his life”. Ed and Mary Alice met in 1956 and were married at Sacred Heart Cultural center on September 28, 1957. In addition to Mary Alice, Ed is survived by his three children, Robert Speed (Doris), Caroline Teelon (Larry), and Elizabeth Novak (Mike), his four grandchildren, Leah Carney (Thomas), Olivia Camuti (Alex), Emily Dawson (Preston), and Christopher Teelon (Aubrey), and his 3 great-grand children, Ellie, Tennley, and Mary Katherine.
Edwin lived a full, fabulous life and enjoyed many hobbies outside of spending time with his family. His love of cars started when he was a teenager when his father helped him buy his first car. He fondly remembers his mother helping him re-upholster the seats that had springs sticking out of them. From that day on he proudly proclaimed that he was officially a “car nut”. One of Ed’s many prized possessions was his 1956 Thunderbird that he purchased new, drove to work on his first day of employment, took his lovely wife on their honeymoon in, and then drove on the day of his retirement from Savannah River Site.
Edwin is a veteran of the Korean war where he was in charge of the motor pool and was sought after by the officers on base to turn an ordinary military jeep into one which made the rest of the officers jealous. After the war, Ed attended and graduated from the Citadel and began his career with Dupont at the Savannah River Site. He met the love of his life through mutual friends and the rest was history.
Throughout the years, Ed has enjoyed many hobbies including gardening which led to him plant a vineyard at his home in the country. Ed spent endless hours pruning the vines by hand and making wine that he shared with family and friends. His children and grandchildren have vivid memories of large carboys “percolating” at various locations in the house and around the property. He would bottle his wine with handwritten labels for family and friends on holidays and special occasions.
In addition to his love of cars and gardening, he also loved to write poetry. For 67 years, there has not been a holiday or other special occasion where Mary has not been met with a handwritten poem expressing his everlasting love for her and his family. A collection of his poetry is bound into a book which is cherished by all of this family and close friends.
Ed will be missed by many but none as much as his wife and family. The family would like to extend very special thanks to everyone who cared for Edwin and Mary Alice for the last year to include the nurses and staff from Trinity Hospice. Ed often told his family that he loved them and they will forever carry his memory in their hearts.
Ed’s life will be celebrated on Saturday December 2, 2023 at 11:00 am at the old St. Mary’s Church on Park Avenue, Aiken, SC. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mary’s School STEM Center.