Bert Lewis Speed

Bert Lewis Speed

Bert Lewis Speed, 89, passed away Monday, December 30 at the Veterans Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma. He was born February 6, 1930 in Amarillo, Texas to Joseph Edward and Mary Pauline Speed. Bert was raised in Adrian, Texas along with his older brother Robert.

Bert attended Texas Tech University and was a member of the Army ROTC. After graduation, he enlisted and served in the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant until he was honorably discharged in 1959. Using his GI Bill, he obtained a Master of Science in Geology from Texas Tech and worked as a field geologist in Venezuela on Lake Maracaibo.

In 1960, Bert returned to the United States and joined the National Park Service. He met Rose “Gallie” while at Natchez Trace Parkway and they were married on August 6, 1964. While in the National Park Service, Bert was also assigned to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky; Capitol Reef National Park in Utah; and Chickasaw National Recreation Area (formerly Platt National Park) in Sulphur, Oklahoma.

While assigned to Mammoth Cave, Bert received awards for exploring new cave routes and designing a special boat to carry passengers through underground streams. During his assignment to Capitol Reef, he traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak before the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs to establish the current Capitol Reef National Park from a national monument. President Nixon signed the bill on December 18, 1971. Bert retired from the National Park Service in 1992 after a thirty-two-year career.

Bert is survived by his daughter Denise Crawford (Bill Crawford); daughter Suzanne Pruitt (George Sylvester); daughter Pauline Gray (Kendall Gray); son Joseph Speed; and daughter-in-law Karen Speed; by his grandchildren LeAnn Loftis (Joe Loftis); Mattie Laramie (Justin Laramie); Connor Pruitt, Matthew Speed, and Emma Gray; and by his great-grandchildren Marissa Loftis, Jacey Pitmon, Saige Pitmon, Jaxsen Laramie and Makinley Laramie.

He was preceded in death by his wife Rose “Gallie” Speed; his parents Joseph and Pauline Speed; his brother Robert Speed; and his son Walter Speed.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 11, 2020 at DeArman’s Funeral Home, 1129 West 1st Street, Sulphur Oklahoma at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: VA Center Benefits Account, Sulphur Veterans Center, 304 East Fairlane, Sulphur, Oklahoma 73086

Online condolences may be made to

Sulphur Times-Democrat

P.O. Box 131
Sulphur, OK 73086
PH: (580) 622-2102