Memorial Service for the Less Cancer Hero will be at the John Mosby House Warrenton Virginia

Post By Bill Couzens Founder Less Cancer

Key Words John Mosby, John, Couzens, Bill Couzens,Warrenton Virginia, Cancer , Less Cancer, Fauquier Times Democrat, Betsy Parker,Flowers, Hotel Street,Mary Speer, Hope Porter.

Services for Mary Speer are at the Mosby House at 5:00pm Thursday December 11,2008 in Warrenton Virginia.

Award winning journalist Betsy Parker covered hero Mary Speer who’s role with Less Cancer will never be forgotten

We will all miss Mary.

Bill Couzens Founder Less Cancer.

Community mourns loss of Mary Speer

By Betsy Parker
Source: Fauquier Times-Democrat

By Betsy Parker

Special to the Times-Democrat

Dozens of bouquets of flowers — beribboned lilies, fancy roses surrounded by sprays of baby’s breath, unadorned daisies — laid carefully at the door to 3 Hotel Street wordlessly tell the tale: Warrenton has lost a valued member of its business community.

Longtime owner of Wordshop, popular Warrenton business owner Mary Helen Speer died unexpectedly on Dec. 5 at age 60 following a short illness. She is survived by her husband of 41 years Frederick Kahler and leaves behind a litany of friends who sing her praises as a fixture in the county.

Speer founded Wordshop, a word processing and research center, in 1985. “She never missed a day,” said longtime client and friend Bill Couzens. “She was a part of the community here.”

Speer handled an array of duties for local writers, researchers, businesses, clubs and organizations. It was her generous spirit that made Speer stand out in the local business community.

“She was never too busy to help,” said local conservationist Hope Porter. “She was busy all the time, but, funny, she never turned you down. She never had to put you off until tomorrow.”

Mary Speer was born in Altoona, Pa., Dec. 14, 1947, daughter of Robert and Helen Baker Speer. She attended Altoona High School, then a local business college. She met and married artist Fred Kahler and they moved to Warrenton’s White Hall Farm shortly after.

Speer and Kahler lived at White Hall for almost 20 years; before moving to a small farm at the base of Red Oak Mountain near Castleton.

“She loved the land” of the surrounding Rappahannock County hills, said cousin Bill Stom, who spent many hours at the farm near Rock Mills with Speer in the last few years. “She’d walk her dog up to the top of the logging road nearly every day. She loved the peace of the area, and, especially, her gardens. She really found her niche.”

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