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franklin county times

Longtime banking, political leader dies

By Staff
From staff reports
Dec. 20, 2000
Longtime banker, newspaper publisher and Republican political activist Jim Speed died Monday. He was 61.
Services will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church with Stephens Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Crawford also briefly served as editor of the Clarke County Tribune, which Speed owned at one time.
At the time of his death, Speed was chairman of the board of Great Southern National Bank, a position he had held since 1971. Since 1974, he had also served as president of Great Southern Capital Corporation in Quitman.
Crawford said Speed was a "major Republican political force" statewide, serving as a delegate to the Republic National Convention and as an elector in the Electoral College.
Speed's political background also includes two terms on the Meridian City Council.
Speed served as president of the East Mississippi Ole Miss Alumni Chapter and the Pi Kappa House Corp., Gamma Iota chapter. He was a member and officer of the Mississippi Bankers Association and the Greater Meridian Chamber of Commerce. He was active in numerous organizations, including the Mississippi Press Association Foundation, the Mississippi Heart Fund, the Lions Club, the Dixie National Life Insurance Company, the Meridian Little Theatre, the Meridian Symphony Orchestra, the Meridian Girl Scout Council, the Meridian Jaycees, the Meridian Museum of Art and the University of Mississippi Alumni Association.
Visitation will be today from 6 to 9 p.m. The family requests memorials be made to a favorite charity. For more about the funeral arrangements, see Page 6A.