Elizabeth 'Betty' Speirs, 91, passed away peacefully October 15, 201,6 at her home, surrounded by her five loving children, and family. She was born in Bangor on May 27, 1925, the daughter of Donald Shackley Higgins and Marian Harvey Higgins.
Betty grew up in the Fairmount Park neighborhood, and attended Fairmount and Hannibal Hamlin elementary schools. She graduated from Bangor High School, Class of 1943, as its Class Secretary where, for over 50 years, she maintained a record of its membership and helped organize class reunions. In recent years those reunions became annual events, the most recent, their 73rd, this past August.
Betty attended the University of Maine, studying Home Economics. She was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and was selected a Sophomore Eagle and All Maine Woman. In 1947, during March spring break, she and Robinson "Robby" Speirs were married, honeymooning at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA, to which they returned many times over the years.
A lifelong resident of Bangor, Betty was a member of All Souls Congregational Church. She was an active, willing and faithful participant through the years as a deacon as well as service on most other church boards, committees and missions, such as the Woman's Association and Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen.
She served for many years on the boards of the Philip Strickland House, Bangor Dental Clinic and Hilltop House and as a volunteer for Girl Scouts and The United Way of Penobscot Valley. She was a member of Quipis Club and the Bangor Chapter A, PEO Sisterhood. Betty also provided ongoing support for her husband and crews working on Habitat for Humanity homes in the Bangor area for over a dozen years.
Betty was deeply devoted to her large family and used her special love and nurturing skills to raise five strong willed children. She is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Robinson Speirs Jr. and wife, Susan, of Cumberland, and Donald H. Speirs and wife, Deborah, of Bangor; three daughters and sons-in-law, Mary S. and Jonathan D. Price of Bangor, Nancy S. and Jon F. Dawson of Bangor, and Julie Anne S. and Robert A. MacMannis of Calais. 14 Grandchildren, Robinson Speirs lll of Portland, David Speirs and wife, Jen, of North Yarmouth, John Speirs and wife Erika, of Seattle, WA; Susan E. Stephenson and husband, Andy, of Bangor; Julie A. Williams and husband, Brian, of Bangor, Katherine E. Dawson of Orono; Robert MacMannis Jr. and wife, Kristin, of Portsmouth, R.I., Katherine E. Mathews and husband, Jeff, of Lake Mary, Fla., Thomas A. MacMannis and wife, Gina of Seattle, WA; Donald Speirs Jr. and wife, Jen, of St Simons Island, GA, Justin R. Speirs and wife, Jen, of Houlton, Seth R. Speirs and wife, Carina, of Leesburg, VA., Deborah M. Speirs of Austin, TX., and Jesse Speirs of Fort Worth, TX.. 19 Great-Grandchildren, Daicey and Avery Speirs; Robinson Edward "Teddy", Georgiana "Georgie" and Jonathan "Jack" Stephenson; William "Liam" and Mason Williams; Evelyn and Robert MacMannis III; Camden and Addison Matthews; Sophie and Donald "Trey" Speirs; Justin and Ryan Speirs; Audrey, Austin, Caroline and Madelyne Speirs.
Betty was predeceased in 2009 by her lifelong partner and husband, Robby, her parents, Donald S. and Marian H Higgins, and brothers, Leon F Higgins II and Donald S Higgins Jr. She is survived by sister Julie H Reeves of Bangor and brother, William H Higgins and wife, Erika, of Holden, MA. She is also survived by sisters -in-law and Margaret Carlisle Speirs and Audrey Higgins of Bangor.
Betty lived her life with grace and dignity. Her strong character and quiet determination enriched and guided all those around her. She left this world a better place and will be deeply missed.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Oct 21, 2016, at All Souls Congregational Church with the Rev. Dr. James L. Haddix, pastor and teacher, and the Rev. Renee U. Garrett, master of divinity minister of Christian Nurture, officiating. A reception will be immediately after the service in the church vestry. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor.
Those who wish to remember Betty in a special way may make gifts in her memory to All Souls Congregational Church, 10 Broadway, Bangor, ME 04401; Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.