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Rep. Jackie Speier’s father has died

By Josh Richman
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 at 6:29 pm in Jackie Speier, U.S. House.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, this evening announced the death of her father, Manfred (Fred) Speier; she said he passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on Monday at her Hillsborough home at the age of 91.

Jackie Speier“My father was the rock and foundation of my life. He was always there for me during my darkest days, and for the most joyous moments such as the births of my children. He lived a long and full life and was alert and sharp as a tack until the very end,” Speier said in an e-mailed statement. “On Saturday, just two days before he passed, he was regaling us with stories of his life. He was most proud of being a naturalized U.S. citizen, so much so that he requested to be buried in a simple pine box draped in an American flag.”

The congresswoman said her father was born in Germany, came to the United States after World War II and married Nancy Kanchelian in 1949. Speier’s mother passed away in February 2009; Speier’s brother, Eric Speier, lives in Elk Grove.

The lawmaker described her father as an incurable optimist who came to San Francisco and found a job within two hours, eventually working as a nurse, a short order cook, and a manager for a local, family-owned company. His work ethic and civic awareness were examples that set the tone for family life, she said.

A funeral mass will be held this Saturday at Saint Bartholomew Catholic Church, 300 Alameda de las Pulgas in San Mateo.

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  • Truthclubber

    Peace with with you, Jackie, and with your family, and with your departed father, Fred — he did us proud, and you did him proud as well.

  • JohnW

    Losing our parents at any age is rough. But anybody whose parent(s) are around for 91 years in decent physical and mental shape is blessed.

  • Rick Larsen


    Our family send you all our Love and Sympathy at the time of sadness in your family. Soon with hope you all will be able to turn your sadness into a celebration of your father life.

    Rick Larsen