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Ronald C. Speed

August 26, 1936 ~ March 7, 2017 (age 80)

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Ronald Charles Speed, 80, died Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after a brief illness.


He leaves his wife of 32 years, Pauline Speed, of Vineyard Haven, MA; his son Derek Speed and his wife Jennifer, of Westborough, MA; his step-daughter Ann Carpenter, of Long Beach, NY; and his step-son R. Paul Racette and his wife Joanmarie, of Cleveland, OH. He also leaves 5 grandchildren: Katherine Speed of Somerville, MA; Megan Speed of Monson, MA; Susannah Speed of Westborough, MA; Rob Demont of Atlanta, GA; and Brent Carpenter of Gardner, MA. Ronn was pre-deceased by his father and mother, Charles and Elizabeth (Ross) Speed and his granddaughter Amanda Speed.


Ronn was born in Worcester, MA on August 26, 1936. He graduated from South High School in Worcester and earned an associate’s degree from Worcester Junior College. He proudly served as a medical corpsman in the United States Navy and Marines. He worked for New England Telephone (later Verizon) for 30 years, starting as a lineman and finishing his career as an outside plant engineer.

Ronn loved being near the water. Shortly after retiring, he and Pauline moved to New Bern, NC, where they lived on a house boat for several years. In 1997, they moved to Martha’s Vineyard to be close to the ocean.


The son of immigrants, Ronn was proud of his Scottish heritage. As a teenager, he was a championship roller-skater. When his son Derek was young, they used to take frequent camping trips to New Hampshire on Ronn’s motorcycle. Ronn always loved music and played many instruments including keyboard, saxophone, guitar, and Native American flute. While living on MVI, Ronn organized and led a weekly flute circle. He also enjoyed flying model airplanes on the beaches in MVI. He is loved and will be missed by everyone who knew him.


Ronn’s family would like to thank the medical team at MGH for the amazing care they provided to him during his stay there, in particular the dedicated doctors in the neuroscience department who worked tirelessly to diagnose the cause of Ron’s rare illness.


A memorial service celebrating Ronn’s life will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 11 AM at the Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ronn can be made to a charity of your choice.

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