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Arland Albert Speidel, 89, former police chief for the City of Centralia, passed away Thursday, October 19, 2023, surrounded by the love of his family, at SSM Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon. He was born on December 4, 1933, the son of Frederick Albert and Amelia Minnie (Vogt) Speidel in Centralia. He married the love of his life, Mary Kaye Griffith on February 13, 1982, in Iuka and she survives him in Centralia.
Along with his devoted wife of 41 years, Mary Kaye Speidel, survivors that will always remember Arland’s million-dollar smile include his beloved family, daughter, Jennifer Copple and husband Cameron and their son, Theodore of St. Jacob, Illinois; son, Timothy Speidel and wife Elizabeth of Fulshear, Texas and their children, Mary and Frederick; mother-in-law, Mary Ellen Griffith; brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, Greg Griffith, James Griffith and wife Cristy, and Bonnie Griffith and husband Michael Smith; special nephew, James “Jimmy” Dalton and fiancée Christeen Hernandez; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family members, and friends.
Arland was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and Amelia Speidel; sister, Elise Louise Speidel; brothers, Gene Speidel, and Edward Speidel; father-in-law, James Griffith; and sister-in-law, Laurie Dalton.
Arland began his elementary education at Lakeview Grade School and was a proud graduate of Wamac Grade School. He graduated from Centralia Township High School, Class of 1952. He worked as a carrier for the Centralia Sentinel, and at Hollywood Candy Factory in Centralia before joining the United States Army on February 9, 1954. Mr. Speidel served his country with pride, during the Korean conflict and continued to serve in the United States Army Reserves from February 8, 1956, until 1984. He was selected and presented with the honor of Centralia’s Veteran of the Year in 2013. True to his compassionate nature, Arland offered fellow veterans assistance as the Vice Commander of AMVETS. Arland held the elite honor of Grand Chef De Gare and Garde De La Porte of the Voiture Locale 516 of the Forty and Eight from 2009 until 2016. He was an active member of, and a welcome, friendly face at the American Legion Post 446 in Centralia.
Arland was well known and well-loved in Centralia, and he could not have been more grateful to serve in a community he loved just as much. On May 17, 1962, he saw his dream of serving and protecting others fulfilled with his sworn oath to the Police Department for the City of Centralia. He graduated from the Police Training Institute, Champaign, Illinois on March 29, 1968. Arland was promoted to Sergeant on February 1, 1973, Lieutenant on May 19, 1975, and Captain on October 25, 1982. In a diligent effort to expand his knowledge and training, he attended the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virgina in 1989. He succeeded Chief Kermit Justice on September 2, 1986. Chief Speidel operated with integrity, never compromising his duty to lead by example, and was an ever-present encouragement to his fellow officers until his retirement on January 15, 1999. He never truly left the department though, as Arland continued to keep his connection to his work family, staying involved with current officers and retirees, mentoring new officers, attending weapons qualifications, stopping by the department to share “back in the day” stories, and attending every annual department Christmas party.
Arland was a member of the Clinton County Law Enforcement Association, Southern Illinois Police Chief’s Association, Southern Illinois Administrator’s Association, Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association, Police Pension Board, and the Illinois Police Association. He was a member of the Centralia Masonic Lodge #201, Centralia Elk’s Lodge, and Rotary Club of Centralia. He served on the Centralia Area Historical Museum Board, the Marion County Fair Board, 25 years on a Centralia Balloon Fest Committee, as a Chair, and Central City Grade School Board for years, even after his retirement.
Arland was a man of faith and a member of the Greenview Christian Church since 1982. He and his wife Mary Kaye were a beautiful example of the work and benefit of putting their spouse’s needs above their own. Arland was overjoyed to be the best Dad to his children, Jen and Tim, showing them loving support, never missing any game, dance recital or band competition, and championing them in each season of their lives. He was a Grandpa dreams are made of, playing with his grandchildren, and intently listening to their great adventures they wanted to share with him. Arland had a zest for life that was contagious and was never seen without his iconic grin. He shall be deeply missed and his kind, gentle, class act will never be forgotten.
A celebration of life service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at Greenview Christian Church in Centralia with Pastor John Klockenga officiating. Interment will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Centralia, where military rites will be accorded by the Centralia VFW Post 2055 and the American Legion Post 446. Friends and relatives are welcome to a visitation Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at Greenview Christian Church in Centralia. The visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m. with the American Legion Post 446 Walk Thru, honoring their fellow veteran.
The visitation will conclude at 7:00 p.m. when Arland will be honored with a Masonic Funeral Service by Centralia Masonic Lodge #201, and he will receive his final salute from his brothers and sisters in blue, the Centralia Police Department. Visitation time will also be from noon until the time of the service on Wednesday at the church. Memorials may be made in Arland’s honor to Greenview Christian Church or New Horizon Christian School. Online condolences and memories of Arland may be shared with his family by visiting www.maczfuneralhomes.com and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page. Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia is privileged to be assisting the family of Arland Speidel with arrangements.