Carole Ann Speck, 83, left this life to be with our Heavenly Father on May 8, 2019, at her home in Brown County. A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, July 20 at the Heartland Funeral Home in Early. Her ashes will be buried at the Fort McKavett Cemetery at 3:30 that afternoon.

She was born Sept. 22, 1935, in Menard to Gerald and Myrtice Burleson Arnold. She graduated from Menard High School in 1954. Carole married her high school sweetheart, Dr. A. L. “Lee” Speck, on Aug. 16, 1953, in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. Carole taught dancing in Menard and Eden, and she worked as a laboratory technician in the Veterinary Pathology Lab for Texas A&M University in College Station. Carole and Lee moved to Brownwood in 1962, where they raised their three children, ranched, and operated Brown County Animal Clinic.

From deer hunting in Colorado to working cattle, Carole was always right beside Lee, knee-deep in whatever needed to be done. She attended Howard Payne University and was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mary Garland Chapter #6-073-TX, and of the Welcome W. Chandler Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Carole had an incredible zest for life. She handled everything she was involved in with the same enthusiasm. She was always there for anyone who needed help with a kind word of encouragement, a gentle scolding if necessary, and always a helping hand. Although small in stature, she was a large part of the lives she touched. “Ella”, as she was nicknamed by her father-in-law, Fritze R. “Boog” Speck, was an artist, a homemaker, a fabulous cook, a teacher, a Cub Scout leader, and an inspiration with a “you can do anything you put your mind to” attitude. She was greatly loved and will be dearly missed. And, quoting one of her grandkids, “The best damn Granny in the whole damn world!”

She was preceded in death by her parents; Lee’s parents, Boog and Bela Speck; sister, Geraldine Arnold McCravy; brothers-in-law, Denny Ray Speck and Buddy Speck; and sister-in-law, Gala Speck Barbee Kensing. Her dear brother, Sam Nance, passed away May 11, 2019. Carole is survived by her husband, Lee, of Early; their daughter Leesa Speck Dempsey of San Angelo; son Thomas Brent and wife Paige of Gruver, Texas, their children Hannah, Ella Carole, and Thomas Lee; son Gregg Eric and wife Shari of Brownwood, and their children Summer Hamm and husband Rusty, Hunter Speck, Trevor Speck and wife Renea, Clayton Skeen, and Sydney Skeen; and great- grandchildren Reese Hamm, Reid Hamm, Samantha Hamm, Britton Speck, Kynlie Ann Speck, Amelia Speck, and Atticus Speck. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Scarlett Nance; nephew Mike McCravy and his wife Suzy Gayle; sisters-in-law Beppo Speck, Pat Speck, and Joy and husband Bob Wilson; and brothers-in-law Joe and wife Sarah Speck, Bob and wife Carla Sue Speck, and their families. The family appreciates the special care provided for Carole by Cousin Mona Yancey and her daughter Liberty; and Haley Bell with Hill Country Care.

Carole requested, “Please remember me with smiles and laughter for that is the way I will remember you. If you can only remember me with tears then don’t remember me at all.” In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Welcome W. Chandler Chapter, or to The Alzheimer's Association in care of Heartland Funeral Home, www.heartlandfuneralhome.net.