Obituary James “Mac” Speights Jr.
James "Mac" Speights, Jr. of Huntington on February 10, 2018, 77 years of age. Beloved husband of the late Robert "Bob" Titus. Loving father of Emkay J. Forest (Lara) & James J. Speights (Madrid), Cherished grandfather of Benjamin, Ally Rose, Aiden, Amaya and Axel. Fond brother of Virginia Harrison. Dear partner of Bill Huckaby.
James was born on November 4th 1940 in Walterboro SC to James M Speights Sr. and Marietta Stribling. He graduated with a BA in 1962 from Florida Southern College Lakeland FL. He married Marguerite Jhonson in 1963. Then at Perkins School of Theology Dallas TX graduated with BD in 1965.
After moving to Camden AK in 1965 Mac began working as Minister of Christian Education at Camden United Methodist Church. In September 1966 the couple welcomed Emkay James (formerly Michelle Kathleen) into their lives. In June 1967 the family moved to Augusta GA where he worked as Minister of Christian Education at Trinity-on-the-Hill Methodist Church and in October 1968 James Johnson, their second child, was welcomed to the family.
In June 1969 they moved to Islip NY as Mac was again Minister of Christian Education at Islip United Methodist Church (1969-74). He continued in his career as Pastor at Simpson United Methodist Church, in Amityville, NY (1974-82) and then at United Methodist Church, Merrick, NY (1982-90). He also worked as a consultant at the Parish Resource Center (PRC) of Long Island, Rocky Point, NY (1984-94).
Throughout the 70’s and 80’s Mac was deeply involved with the United Methodist Camps summer programs and provided leadership for creative, puppetry, clowning, personal growth, spirit awakening, and nature programs. These types of programs continued with (PRC) and his private consulting business M.A.C. Consultants (1990-2000).
In July 1989 he met his beloved Robert “Bob” Titus. He moved into Bob’s beautiful home in Huntington in 1990 where he enjoyed a wonderful life tending carefully to each other’s needs and the fabulous garden which Bob had created. In 1995 he started to work as Coordinator of Pastoral Care for the Visiting Nurse Service (VNS)-Hospice of Northport, NY where he continued into the 2000’s.
In 2000, at his 60th birthday party, Mac decided to proudly come out to all his friends, family, and colleagues as a gay man. He was a quiet but strong, passionate and active advocate for the LGBT community by helping to promote and assist PFLAG, planning and helping begin LI SAGE and the LI LGBT Center with his wisdom, knowledge, and skills.
Mac was a masterful writer, a musician, and an avid reader. His poems, sermons, stories, and series of “Speights of Life” have been enjoyed by many and will live on as a part of his legacy. Many, many close friends will remember his love, understanding, sharing stories and great sense of humor.
Any money given in lieu of flowers can be donated to PFLAG and LI LGBT Center, earmarked for SAGE LI.
A Celebration of Mac Speights will be held in early Spring at the Huntington UU Church.
Please check back here or Mac’s Facebook Page for dates.