January 23, 1927 – March 23, 2009

LOUISBURG – Martha Ray Matthews Speed, 82, of the Laurel Mill Community, passed away Monday morning.

Mrs. Speed was the youngest of eleven children of the late Hammit Alvious and Lula Spencer Matthews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Senator James D. Speed, and her daughter, Claudia R. Speed.

She was known as sweet, loving and a good friend. She loved life, people and animals of all kinds.

Mrs. Speed was dedicated to many organizations, including Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, North Carolina Museum of History Associates Committee, Sir Walter Cabinet, Person Place Preservation Society, and Lenox Baker Children’s Hospital.

Mrs. Speed was strongly and actively involved in politics most of her life. Some of the activities included serving as Chairman and President on several Congressional and County Democratic Committees. She organized the Franklin County Democratic Women in 1961, and was a member of the state organization of North Carolina Democratic Women. Her dedicated involvement in political county, state and social committees and organizations are too vast to list. She was a dedicated member of Louisburg Baptist Church. She was also a former member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Thursday at Louisburg Baptist Church with Dr. Reggie Rushing and the Rev. Don McGinnis officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the Tomlinson Room at the church.

Mrs. Speed is survived by her sons, Tom Speed and his wife, Sara of Boone, Mark Speed and his wife, Camille of Louisburg; grandson, Davis Speed of Boone; sister, Mildred M. Welch and husband, Tommy of Henderson.

Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Louisburg Nursing Center, Resident Council Fund, P.O. Box 629, Louisburg, NC 27549 or Person Place Preservation Society, P.O. Box 135, Louisburg, NC 27549.

Arrangements are by Strickland Funeral Home, Louisburg.

Paid Obituary