Laurel Witten (Speir)
Laurel Suzanne Speir Witten, age 82, of Corsicana passed away at home on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017, surrounded by her family and loved ones. Laurel was a devout Christian and a loving wife, mother and grandmother, who filled her home with laughter and joy. She was known for her love of children, dogs and birds, and all of God’s creation.
Laurel was born on July 18, 1934 in Detroit, Michigan. Her family moved to North Carolina and she graduated from St. Genevieve-of-the-Pines Academy in Asheville. In 1956, she received her degree in psychology from Southwestern at Memphis, where she was active in the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She worked at General Motors in Detroit, and at Procter & Gamble in Dallas.
Laurel married Dr. James Fair Witten in Detroit, in 1960. They lived in Dallas, before finally settling in Corsicana. Following the birth of their first child, Laurel focused her attention on her family and home. Laurel was an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, serving as director of the Altar Guild, Children’s Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and as Chairman of the United Thank Offering Committee for the Diocese of Dallas. She faithfully attended Community Bible Study. Laurel was also active in the community, preparing and delivering meals for Food for Fitness, along with husband, Jim, volunteering with the Red Cross, serving on the Board of Directors for The Warehouse Theatre, and on the School Board of James L. Collins Catholic School.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Charles Henry Speir and Gertrude Florence Kreis Speir of Corsicana, and by her sister, Carlin Speir Alexander.
She is survived by her loving husband of 56 years, Dr. James Fair Witten, sister Nancy Speir Johnson of Michigan, children Christie and husband Joey Cummings of Temple, Jennifer Clearman of Houston, Jeff and wife Jennifer Kates Witten of Agoura Hills, CA., son-in-law Scott Clearman of Houston; grandchildren Katherine and Anna Leigh Clearman, Lauren and Leigh Cummings, and Alex and Carter Witten, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 19 at Corley Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, May 20 at 11 a.m. Laurel’s ashes will be interred in the columbarium at St. John’s Church.
The family would like to especially thank Laurel’s caregivers, Pat Gardner, Mildred Jackson, Roslyn Eldridge, Regina Edwards and Tolanda Mitchell, who provided loving and excellent care. The family is also grateful for the care provided by Cedar Lake Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorials to The Warehouse Theatre, James L. Collins Catholic School, The UT Southwestern Medical Center Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, or to the charity of their choice.