Rita Jo Speers

November 10, 1951 ~ July 15, 2021 (age 69)

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Rita “Nana” Jo Speers, of Knoxville, TN, passed away suddenly on Thursday, July 15, 2021. Rita lived in Knoxville and attended Bearden High School. After high school she went on to attend the University of Tennessee. After college, she went on to teach pre-school. Her love for early childhood education turned into a passion as she spent over thirty years molding the young minds of children.

Rita was a traveler by heart and most of all loved traveling with her family. Her family was especially important to her, especially her grandchildren.

Rita is proceeded in death by her beloved parents, Edward and Neda Wallace and brothers, George Wallace and Jan Wallace.

Rita leaves behind a family that will miss and love her, counted among them are life-long friend, Mike Speers; son and daughter-in-law, Christopher and Heather Speers; granddaughter and husband, Macie and Michael Miller; granddaughter and husband, Brittany and Johnathan Lowery; grandsons, Connor and Cole Speers; extended family from Kingsport, and her beloved fur-baby, “Max”.

The family would like to thank long-time friends Lee Justice, Jean Louis Duges, and Nancy LeQuire for their continued love and support. 

A celebration honoring the life of Rita will be hosted on Sunday, July 25, 2021, from 1:00pm – 5:00pm at 7306 Gingham Rd Knoxville, TN 37918. Gentry-Griffey Funeral Chapel and Crematory is honored to serve the Speers family and invites you to sign the on-line registry at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rita, please visit our floral store.


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