James Speed

November 20, 1937 ~ July 28, 2022

Resided in: Arlington, TX

Arlin was born at home in the small farming community of South Liberty in Hopkins County. As a boy on a farm, he had to help with the chores. He accepted Jesus as his Savior while attending South Liberty Baptist Church in April 1952. He attended South Liberty School before transferring to Sulphur Springs schools, graduating in 1955. While there he was active in FFA, participating in speech contests, and showing and judging cows. He was able to attend the National FFA convention in Waterloo, Iowa. Journalism was another interest in high school, and he was editor of the high school newspaper, Cat’s Tale, his senior year.

After graduation, he traveled the Southeastern states selling Farm and Ranch Magazine so he could earn money to attend Texas A&M in the fall. Since his finances did not allow him to continue after one year, he came to the DFW area to find work. He was a draftsman/engineer for several companies such as Ling Temco, Vought, Consolidated, and Conductron in St. Charles, Mo.  He often said that this work enabled him to know how to read blueprints/plans when he became an excavation contractor. (Paula called him a ditch digger.) He changed the type of excavation he did several times, but always did the work to perfection. The last few years in business, he dug fuel tank holes for several different contractors, but the work was always plumb, level, and square. He also developed a shoring system that kept the crew safe while working in the hole.

Arlin had a witty sense of humor, often calling himself Arlin the Grate or Mr. Grate. (It is spelled correctly.)  Arlin was active in his church no matter where they lived, and was ordained as a deacon while attending the First Baptist Church of St. Peters, Missouri.

Arlin married Paula Arthur in 1959 and remained married at the time of his death. He is survived by wife Paula, daughters Jeanette Speed and Anita Speed, son Kevin Speed, and sister Carolyn Beasley. He was preceded in death by son James Arlin Speed II.


Memorial Service: Thursday, August 4, 2022 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Fielder Church - South Oaks
5925 U.S. 287 Frontage Rd.
Arlington, TX 76017

(817) 459-8500

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  1. CandleImageWe were sorry to hear of Arlin’s passing. Hugs and prayers to you, Jeanette and Anita from Alaska.

  2. Paula,
    We are so sorry to hear of Arlin’s passing. We are praying for God’s Grace in easing this difficult time for you and your family.

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