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Richard J. Spede

Obituary for Richard J. Spede

February 12, 1935 - June 28, 2020
Clemson, South Carolina | Age 85


Richard (Dick) Joseph Spede, 85 of Clemson, SC (formerly of Plainview, NY), passed peacefully to be with the Lord on June 28, 2020.

Richard was born February 12, 1935, in Queens, NY to Walter and Marie (Snyder) Spede, both deceased, as is his older brother, Walter. He was married to his childhood sweetheart, Mary Jane Petrosino, almost 63 years when she passed in 2019. Richard is survived by his children Mark Spede (Jani) of Seneca, SC, and Mary Beth Rauser (William) of Shelton, CT, along with his grandchildren Emily and Colleen Rauser, Dale and Dane Spede, numerous friends and family, and his dog Lily.

Richard's attention to detail led him to a lifelong career as a lithographer in Manhattan, NY. He was a member of New York Printing Pressman's Union Local 51. His life's work, however, was providing for and protecting his family. He wanted nothing for himself and he and Mary Jane put their children's needs ahead of everything.

His priest in New York once called him "Saint Richard," in part because getting a word in edgewise wasn't easy with Mary Jane. She loved the more-than-perfect moniker. Richard was quiet, humble, tolerant, hard working and he didn't ruffle easily. His New York hospitality rivaled that of his Southern friends. When he did speak, it was about you, not him. And often sports.

Mary Beth enjoyed being "Daddy's Little Girl" and is grateful for the gift of Faith Richard instilled in her. Her children, Emily and Colleen, remember fondly the countless hours of playing Gin Rummy, Go Fish, and Crazy Eights, and singing Old McDonald, with Grandpa acting out all the farm animal sounds.
Richard and Mark shared a passion for big bands that inspired Mark's career in music. Mark and Jani's boys, Dale and Dane, loved their "Papa's" quick and brilliant one-liners, getting the cherries from his dry Manhattan on the rocks, seeing him at their games and watching sports with him.

The grandchildren have adopted, with great affection, a line Richard was famous for saying when he was ready to go home: "What do you say, Toots."

And home Richard has gone, arriving, most assuredly, to Mary Jane's warm hug – and perhaps a few words about why it took him so long.

A graveside service will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 30 at Memory Gardens in Clemson for immediate family only (due to the pandemic) with Father Dan McLellan officiating. A video recording of the service is available below.

The family would like to thank all of Richard's caregivers over the last three months, especially those from Interim Home Hospice.

A Mass of Christian Burial and celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Richard Spede's honor can go to St. Andrew Catholic Church in Clemson or the Clemson University Tiger Band Association (

Click the play button in the video player below to view the service.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • St. Andrew Catholic Church
    P.O. Box 112
    Clemson, SC 29633

Arrangements By

Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory

108 Cross Creek Road
Central, SC 29630
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