The lodge regrets to announce the passing of Bernard L. Speights (April 9, 2020), father of Officer Rodney Speights.
Bernard Leroy Speights was born on Friday, January 3rd, 1947 in Harlem, NY to the union of Celia Jeter of Virginia and William Edward Speights of New Jersey.
In June of 1964, at the age of 17, Bernard enlisted into the U.S. Navy where he served on the U.S.S. La Salle (LPD-3/AGF-3), a Raleigh-class amphibious transport dock ship. The U.S.S. La Salle saw service in the Carribean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and throughout international waters in the Middle East. On November 3rd, 1966, the U.S.S. La Salle recovered the Gemini 2-MOL test space capsule near Ascension Island for the NASA Project Gemini.
While enlisted in the Navy, Bernard enjoyed serving his country and sailing to different ports of call, but he really enjoyed the relationships that he forged with his navy men. He finally decided to retire in 2008 as a Master Printer/Pressman from Prestone Printing Company Inc.
Bernard has a passion for roller skating. I think it’s safe to say that Bernard was a professional roller skater, as he was known to carry indoor wheels and outdoor wheels for his skates. Bernard was also known to make his mixed cassette tapes for his “Walkman” from WBLS on Friday nights, then would skate all night at the former popular spots like: Skate Key in the Bronx, Empire in Brooklyn, and Central Park in Manhattan. Bernard would even skate inside his apartment up until his recent transition when the weather was too cold to skate outside. It was hilarious to hear Bernard out of breath from moving furniture in the apartment so that he could skate from the living room, down the hallway, to the apartment door, and back as WBLS played in the background.
Bernard Speights will be deeply missed by his family, friends, former co-workers, and the multitude of people he crossed paths with whether at Franklin Plaza Apts, at Yonkers Raceway Track and Casino, the local “numbers” spots in the neighborhood, or at the skating rings. Bernard embodied a warm and giving spirit that was felt by all.
Memorial services were held on:
Sunday, April 26th, 2020
Funeral Services 12-2pm
In the Sanctuary of:
Alexander Rothwell Funeral Home
6447 NY-25A, Wading River, NY 11792
Calverton National Cemetery
210 Princeton Boulevard
Calverton, NY 11933
*Full Naval Ceremony will be held at a later date in the summer