Cover photo for Anita Beth Specht's Obituary
1944 Anita Beth Specht 2023

Anita Beth Specht

July 16, 1944 — October 21, 2023

Paris, TN

Anita Beth Specht, formerly of Mahomet, IL, passed away on October 21, 2023, in Paris, TN, at Charter Senior Living.  She passed with her daughters by her side serenaded by Elvis singing Take My Hand, Precious Lord.   

Anita retired from the University of Illinois Department of Communications Research where she worked as an administrative assistant.  She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Mahomet.

Anita was a ferociously loyal and trusted Mother, Grandmother, and friend.  If you were ever in a pinch Anita could be counted on to save the day.  She made being the matriarch of the family look easy.  She loved her family and friends who became family with her whole heart.  Anita loved Elvis and loved to dance simply because it felt good. Her zest for life was truly contagious.  Travels with Anita could lead to unexpected destinations, blamed on GPS malfunction, and fun escapades.  She believed a long walk on the beach with the warm ocean breeze and good music was a balm to her soul.  The beach was her happy place.

Anita married Ralph Edward Specht on November 24, 1963.  They spent many happy years together laughing, loving, and traveling until his passing in March 2023.  Life for her wasn’t the same without Ralph by her side.

She is survived by her two daughters, Angela Specht Beals of Dresden, TN and Michele (Steve) Strode also of Dresden, TN; six grandsons, Griffin (Marykirk) Strode South Fulton, TN, Greyson Strode of Mahomet, IL, Grant (Rebecca) Strode Henderson, KY, Parker (Miranda) Perrero of Mahomet, IL, Carson (Nadine) Perrero of Kingston Springs, TN, and Westin Perrero of Monticello, IL; seven great grandchildren, Eli, Hudson, Raphael, Tilden, Harrison, Mishika, and Slaten.  The pride Anita took in her grandchildren knew no limits.  She is also survived by one aunt, Mary Dyson of Champaign, IL; three sister in-laws, Lucile Elkins of Fisher, IL, Wanda Grindley of Mahomet, IL, and Linda (Ron) McCorkle of Cedar Grove, NC; one brother in-law, Rosco (Julie) Specht of Rantoul, IL.  Anita also had many nieces and nephews that meant the world to her.  She was Grandma Nita to many, a title she carried with honor.  She will be forever loved and missed.

The family would like to thank everyone at Charter Senior Living of Paris and Gentiva Hospice of Paris for the respect, care, and love shown to Anita.  We will be forever grateful.

Local arrangements are being handled by Ridgeway Funeral Home, 201 Dunlap Street/PO Box 788, Paris, TN 38242.  The body is to be cremated. 

A memorial service will be held at a later date at the Mahomet United Methodist Church, 1302 E South Mahomet Rd, Mahomet, IL 61853.

Burial of cremains will be in Grandview Memorial Gardens in Champaign, IL at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the Siteman Cancer Center, St. Louis, MO at and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.



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