JOSEPH P. SPECHT, 82, died October 13, 2017 after an extended illness. Joe lived in the Waynedale area, where together with his wife they raised their family. He was born in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania on March 21, 1935. Joe met his future wife Carol (Blance) Specht while both were students at Elmhurst High School. The couple married in 1955 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, and was blessed with five children. Their first home was on Lower Huntington Road. While residing there, Joe constructed an outdoor Christmas display that consisted of a life size nativity set, a Santa with a sleigh that would seat two people, and a 13-boy choir that he put on the roof of the house. Music was piped outside and windows made to look like stained glass. Across the rooftop of the house was a 28-foot hand-painted sign that read, “CHRISTMAS IN FAITH AND FANTASY”.
Joe was known to be a saver of anything that he thought might be used later. Thanks to this trait, the large heavy iron cross that stands on top of the bell tower at St. Therese Catholic Church on Lower Huntington Road will forever stand in the Waynedale Corridor to welcome all who pass by. The cross was on the original church that burned, and was loaded to be sold for scrap. When Joe saw that, he asked the priest if he could take it and store it for later use. When construction of the present church was underway, Jeff, one of Joe’s sons was on the St. Therese Parish Council and the church building committee. Joe gave him the cross that had been long forgotten, to give to the building committee so they could decide how to incorporate it in the new construction plans. The rest is history.
Joe worked in home building and commercial construction management before declining health forced his early retirement. He put many additions on homes in Avalon and Lakeshore.
Joe leaves behind his wife, Carol, and their children, Jene’ (Rick) Smith; J.P. (Molly) Specht; Jeffrey Specht; Joel (Mike) Harris, and Jerome (Cynthia) Specht. Grandchildren, Audra (Craig) Miller; Ryan (Julie) Specht; Sarah (Peter) Tomczyk; Jessica (Adam) Knizner; Hannah Specht; Braden Specht; Kelsey Specht; Kylie (fiancé Dylan Stone) Harris; Matthew Harris; Mason Specht; Hunter Specht; and Samantha Specht. Eight little great granddaughters, Eleanor, Claire, Greta, Ava, Stella, Kaylee, Alicia, and Adriana. Also his sister, Dorothy Coleman.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Donald Specht, and brothers-in-law, Robert Coleman and Duke Blance.
Calling was at Klaehn, Fahl, & Melton Funeral Home on Winchester Road on October 27, 2017. A private mass for the family was held in the daily mass chapel of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, on October 28, 2017. Immediately following was the burial of Joe’s ashes in Greenlawn Memorial Park on Covington Road, in the Garden of Faith.