Family and friends gathered at the home of Lucy B. Stewart Speller on Aug. 4 to honor her and celebrate her 109th birthday.

She is known as “Aunt,” and “Sister,” to many because she and her husband, Wesley Speller, despite having no biological children of their own, were parents to many young people who grew up to achieve success. Speller’s loved ones-friends and relatives-have benefited from her wisdom, advice and suggestions, even when her opinion wasn’t solicited.

Born in 1904, Speller is a longtime member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Northeast Washington. There, she demonstrated her love for her church and children when she took them to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, where she was a faithful teacher for years.

Speller’s greatest expression of love and dedication was shown when she provided health care for her mother, “Ma” Stewart, as she was affectionately known. Stewart was bedridden for more than 10 years. Speller spent many nights providing this care.

For many years, relatives and friends began arriving at the Speller home on Aug. 4 without invitation to celebrate Speller’s birthday. It was like a reunion.

“The party is viewed as a time to celebrate the beauty of one who was kind, generous, devoted and compassionate and always a lady,” said a close family friend.

Speller has “touched many lives and has contributed so much to those she loves,” the friend said.


Marian Tyrance

Special to the AFRO