On Saturday, October 3, 2020, James Augustus Speller entered his eternal rest at home at the age of 93. Born February 28, 1927 in Bertie County, N.C. to the late Braxton and Mariah Speller, James was the last of his 21 siblings to be called home. The Patriarch of the Speller family, James took great pride in providing for his family raising five boys and six girls. Lovingly called ‘Gus’ he was a huge Dallas Cowboys fan and enjoyed spending time around family, playing cards and making his famous barbecue.
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James attended Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Colerain where he met his future wife Alvania Cherry and they were married for 49 years. Enlisting in the army at 18, he served in WWII as a military police officer for two years. After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the army he moved his family to Norfolk and worked for the Virginian-Pilot as a truck driver retiring after 36 years of service. James also had a food truck he called ‘Gus’s Kitchen’ and served up good food around the neighborhood.
James is preceded in death by his wife Alvania Cherry Speller, parents Braxton and Mariah Speller, sons Roy, Paul and Bobby Speller, daughters Patricia Taylor and Gloria Backus, daughter-in-law Sylvia ‘Shelia’ Speller, son-in-law Robert Taylor, as well as several grand, great, and great great grandchildren.
He leaves to cherish his memory his sons James B. Speller, Sr. (Patricia), MacArthur Speller (Brenda), daughters Pansie Taylor, Nettie-Ruth Speller, Gwendolyn Dunston (Thurman), and Joyce Lewis (Jearl), and a host of grand, great, great great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.