Donnie Ray Speer, 59, of Sylacauga, Alabama gained his wings and made his final rest with family and loved ones by his side on September 14th , 2019.
Donnie is survived by his wife, Rajesh Rani Gupta Speer, of 31 years, daughters Neena Rani Speer (eldest) and Smita Rani Speer (youngest), sisters Janice Seals and Freda Speer, brothers Clarence Speer, Christopher Speer, and Danny Speer, many loving nieces, nephews, extended family, and an extensive community of people who followed his career and admired him. Donnie was a husband, a father, a UAB legend, a trusted advisor, but most of all a man so full of love for his family and the world that you felt it in your core.
Donnie loved sports, especially basketball. He played as the noteworthy number 52 on UAB's Inaugural Men's Basketball Team. He also played for an overseas professional league and was drafted to the Denver Nuggets before the end of his basketball days. He worked for UAB for over 15 years in various capacities. In 1997, he was forced to retire from his job as the director of the UAB Arena due to his health.
Some of his hobbies over the years included collecting coins, basketball cards, and movies. He also enjoyed seeing his family happy and constantly said he was blessed with such a loving, beautiful wife and children. To him, connecting with family was the most important aspect in life. Donnie was always there to support friends and family when they needed him.
He had an acute attention to detail, an attribute which he used for the betterment of others. A man wise beyond his years with strength beyond his stature, Donnie Speer traveled through life selflessly, improving the lives of everyone he touched.
Donnie will be laid to rest alongside his father, William Elmer Speer, and his mother, Annie Bell Speer. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the National Kidney
Foundation in his honor.