Steen Funeral Home-13th Street Chapel
Edward “Nat” Speaks, 57, of Ashland, passed away Tuesday morning, Nov. 19, 2013, in Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland.
He was born Nov. 21, 1955, a son of Myra Hibbert Speaks of Ashland and the late Jackson I. Speaks.
Nat worked 41 years for The Independent and was circulation director. He was a member of LifeSong Church, where he was a greeter.
He is survived by his loving wife, Cindy Rankin Speaks; a son, Adam N. Speaks and wife Rebecca of Lexington; a daughter, Sara Speaks Crum and husband Danny of Lexington; brothers Bobby Speaks of Lexington, Jack Speaks of Swartz Creek, Mich., Ron Speaks of Tampa, Fla., and Jim K. Miller of Princeton; sisters Mary Ann Robinson of Raceland and Tanja Bauer of Lexington; and three precious grandchildren, Ellie Crum, Olivia Crum and Sophia Speaks.
Nat started working for the newspaper as a paper carrier when he was in high school. He advanced to the mailroom and into the circulation department, where he was a district manager, assistant circulation director and eventually circulation director.
Few who have worked at the newspaper were more devoted than Nat, who spent countless hours making sure everything was as good as it could be. But he was even more devoted to his loving family and especially those grandchildren. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, employee and friend to everyone he met. His kindness and compassion resonated through his personality and even showed during his illness.
As for other loves in his life, besides the many friends too numerous to count, there was always sports, whether watching or playing. Nat was passionate about University of Kentucky basketball and football and Ashland Tomcat sports of any kind. He followed them all closely, hanging on the wins and losses, but really loving those victories the most. But no matter what happened, Nat always came up smiling, because that was his way. Nat was a competitive person who loved golf later in life, but was good at anything he tried in sports, including pingpong and bowling.
Those who worked under him and with him at the newspaper knew he was going to be fair and honest and would lend a helping hand to anything they needed, be it work-related or otherwise. He was the true definition of a friend.
Nat was a rock for his family through his last difficult days. His wife, Cindy, the love of his life, was at his side every step of the way, lending the love, care and support that made the journey easier for him. His children, Adam and Sara, carry their father’s wonderful traits as well and provided strength for the family. The family understands fully that Nat is in a far better place today and no longer feels any pain.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 at Steen Funeral Home-13th Street Chapel in Ashland by Pastor Keith Menshouse. A committal service will be at Rose Hill Burial Park Mausoleum in Ashland.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. today, Nov. 20, 2013, at the funeral home.
Friends may make contributions in his memory to Community Hospice, 1480 Carter Ave., Ashland, KY 41101.
Condolences may be sent to steenfuneralhome.com.