Anne McKinley phoned me this afternoon to let me know that our mutual friend Scott Speake quite unexpectedly died over the weekend.
We all knew each other through our book club. Anne sent this e-mail to our discussion group:
I have just been informed that Scott Speake, one of the founding members of the Octavia Books Science Fiction Reading Group, has passed away.
Scott was apparently complaining of a cold and took to his bed on Friday. Hearing no movement on Saturday or Sunday, Scott’s landlords checked on him only to find that he had passed away.
As a dedicated early member of the group, Scott was enthusiastic in his recommendations for “spaceship and rayguns” books and hard sci-fi. He loaned out books from his large library of science fiction old and new, and was a voracious reader.
Notices are expected to be in the paper Monday. Services and remembrances of Scott will probably be on Wednesday morning from 10-11 at Schoen Funeral Home on Canal Street. Scott is survived by his mother, who resides in Birmingham.
Anne says he was “one of the founding members,” but actually I consider him the founding member. The club started in the summer of 2001 as Scott’s idea. All I did was show up. In fact, at that first meeting it was just Scott and me and James Conrad, I believe. (It was through James that I learned of the meeting.) Scott was the most reliable member of the club, up until some point a couple years ago when he quit coming for mysterious reasons we never did understand.
Scott was quirky like that. He still kept in touch with Anne and me. He read this blog regularly, and he would surprise me from time to time by popping up at events where I didn’t expect him, like that first Geek Dinner. Here’s a picture of him talking to Sophmom.
This just seems very unreal to me.
They say death comes in threes. Olivia’s brother (also from Birmigham, strangely enough) makes one. Milo makes two. And now Scott makes three. Anyway, that’s how I’m counting it, because I don’t want to lose anyone else just yet.
Update: From today’s paper, Scott’s death notice:
Scott Lovell Speake
SPEAKE Scott Lovell Speake, a Board Certified Tax Attorney and a CPA, passed away on Friday, June 20, 2008 at the age of 59. He is survived by his parents, Mary Louise Lovell Speake of Birmingham, AL and Harold Layman Speake of Moulton, AL and a sister Ruth Louise Speake of Greeley, CO. Mr. Speake was born in San Francisco, CA, grew up in Birmingham, AL and had been a resident of New Orleans since 1979. Mr. Speake graduated with a degree in accounting from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and earned a law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, also in Birmingham. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Gathering at Schoen Funeral Home, 3827 Canal Street at N. Scott, on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 between the hours of 10:00 A.M. and 12:00 Noon. Guest book may be signed online at www.legacy.com.
Published in The Times-Picayune on 6/23/2008.