honoring daniel boone speer
"Beyond being a well-respected nurseryman, Dan was a beloved father and grandfather. "
Daniel Boone Speer was born October 27, 1924 to Benjamin and Golda Speer. His father, Benjamin, worked as a tree budder while his mother, Golda, ran their southeast Portland household. Dan was the middle child of five boys and pretty much grew up with farming in his blood.
By age twelve Dan was working summers tying buds behind his father. He liked the work because it put money in his pocket - $2.00 per day at $0.25 per hour - and he quickly earned a reputation around the farm as a hard worker. He spent each summer budding July through September, when it was time to go back to school.
In 1943, Dan graduated from Franklin High School in Portland, Oregon and was immediately drafted to the navy. He spent time in Coeur d'alene, San Diego and the South Pacific before returning to Oregon to pursue his dream of starting his own farm. He made his dream a reality and started Speer & Sons Nursery in 1948.
During his lifetime, Dan was renowned in the nursery industry for his acumen. He had a reputation for sharing his knowledge, encouraging his peers in the industry and helping others whenever he could. If he knew someone needed a digger, he would lend them a digger. If he knew someone was short on budwood, he would offer to share his. To Dan, that was just the right way to do things, and he is still remembered for his generosity to this day. Many nurserymen throughout the industry credit him as their mentor.
But beyond being a well-respected nurseryman, Dan was a beloved father and grandfather. He adored his granddaughters and loved watching his grandsons' football games. His great-grandson spent summers following him around the farm, and all of his children and grandchildren remember his kindness and tenacity.
We lost Dan in 2010 but his legacy lives on in the business he loved and in his family. During his life he served as a constant mentor and inspiration to us, and continues to do so after his death.