Daniel Earl Speakman was born July 19, 1924 in Grafton, W.Va., son of Daniel Perry Speakman and Rose Frances (Riedmiller) Speakman and died on March 18, 2013 in the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Manchester, N.H. with family and caring staff by his side.
He graduated from Central High School in Columbus, Ohio and served honorably in the US Army. He went on to graduate with a BA of Architecture from Ohio State University and to do mission studies at Scarritt College and Yale University.
From 1958 he served as a commissioned missionary for the United Methodist Church in Korea, Taiwan, Algeria, Congo, Bolivia and Chile. As he traveled the world as an architect and missionary, he taught construction techniques to local people and left behind hospitals, chapels, houses, clinics, orphanages, a reservoir and water distribution system, refugee housing and a hostel. He also designed furniture, a university campus, a mosque and a dormitory.
He also found himself coordinating community development, teaching English, meat preservation, mathematics, mechanical drawing, and photography. He also did the makeup for a documentary about leprosy, while mastering at least four different foreign languages. After returning to the states, he lived in Ipswich, Mass. working as a construction estimator, safety engineer, home inspector and co-owner of Ipswich Crabmeat. He obtained a Masters Degree in Adult Education, from Antioch College, taught adult relaxation and stress management courses at North Shore Community College, Danvers Hospital and Ipswich High School and consulted on a prisoner self-help program at Norfolk State Prison.
In 1996 the Speakmans were honored with a trip back to Korea by the men whom they had rescued as begging boys from the streets of Seoul by co-establishing an orphanage, Angels’ Haven, in 1959. The orphanage continues to serve children today. Dan saw the fruits of his faith found in Psalm 127: 1, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (KJV). In 1997 they moved to Greenville and were active in church and refugee settlement. In the midst of all, Dan found time to do creative writing, draw cartoons, design stage sets, run a farm, and lead the Girl Scouts in camping techniques. Even though Dan was slowed by dementia during his final years, he never lost his love for his family and God and retained his delightful humor. He was preceded in death by his adored and adoring wife of 67 years, Phyllis Bartoe Speakman.
He is survived by his daughters, Victoria (Speakman) Koshivas and son-in-law, James Charles Koshivas of Ipswich, Mass., and Paula Sue (Speakman) Earley of Irving, Texas; sister Virginia Rose (Speakman) Rywalski of Toledo, Ohio and four deceased siblings; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and many beloved nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. He acted on his belief that God was in his work and would provide whatever he needed. Memorial service and internment will be at a later date. Condolences can be sent to Victoria Koshivas, Box 669, Ipswich, MA 01938