Arthur “Heavy” T. Speaks, Jr.

Arthur “Heavy”, “Sage Point” (tribal name) T. Speaks Jr. of East Providence, RI passed away at Rhode Island Hospital on Friday, January 22, 2021. Born on November 24, 1954, he was the son of the late Arthur Sr. and Nena (Sailor) Speaks, and the grandson of the late William Sailor and Gladys Edna (Davis) Sailor and Sylvester and Mary (Logan) Speaks.

He was a graduate of Hope High School and received his Bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College – Class of 1976. Before his retirement in 2016, he was employed by the City of Providence as an Economic Development Loan Officer. Prior to that, he was a Vice-President Bank Manager at Hospital Trust Bank (now Santander). Arthur was also an entrepreneur, starting his own business, Atlas Financial. He worked with youth as a basketball referee for John Hope as well as the Youth Christian Ministry Basketball Association.

Arthur was an extremely caring and generous person who would give you “the shirt off his back” if it meant saving someone. Anyone who knew Arthur could attest to his love for his beautiful wife, Irmadene Jones-Speaks marrying her December 24, 2006. He never stopped “dating” her: buying her gifts (especially teddy bears), encouraging her, trips to concerts in Connecticut, taking her for rides just to enjoy her company, and always making sure she felt loved and appreciated.

He was fun to be around and enjoyed spending time with family and friends, listening to music, reading, watching sports programs (especially the New England Patriots and the Providence Friars’ basketball team) and going fishing.

Arthur was a well-known advocate who sought ways to improve the lives of others. He is remembered for his work as a Narragansett Indian Council Board Member. His acts of compassion were felt throughout the community in his annual fundraising and food distribution programs and his relentless efforts to find jobs for people re-entering the workforce after being incarcerated. He had a close relationship with the Herb Chambers Automobile Dealership and recommended many customers to that establishment.

Arthur was a committed, dedicated Christian who lived his life in service to God. He was a faithful member of the Allen A.M.E. Church where he was an active member of the Prayer Team and the Sons of Allen Men’s Ministry. He loved his family and was extremely proud of the many accomplishments of his nieces and nephews. He read the Bible daily, attended family prayer calls and was quick to send spiritual text messages and songs to many; even in his last moments of life, he was making phone calls and sending encouraging text messages to family and friends.

Arthur is survived by his loving wife, Irmadene Jones-Speaks; two sons: Brian Mathew Speaks (wife Jennifer) of Providence, RI and Kevin Isiah Jones-Speaks of East Providence, RI. He is also survived by a cousin, Kevin Sebastian, who referred to him as Dad since the passing of Kevin’s biological parents. Arthur loved him like a son.

He is also survived by his beloved sisters: Karen Speaks of East Providence, RI and Donna Speaks of Marlborough, MA and a brother Lawrence Speaks (wife Joyce) of Providence, RI, one aunt, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers and sisters-in law, Godchildren, and long-time friends.

Arthur will surely be missed, as he soars with the angels. He will forever remain in our hearts.

His funeral will be held on Monday, February 1, 2021 at 11:00AM in the Ebenezer Baptist Church, 475 Cranston Street, Providence. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers contributions to Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st. Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131


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34 entries.
John Ramos from Trumbull, CT wrote on February 4, 2021 at 10:41 pm:
Though I haven’t seen him in years, Heavy had an indelible effect on my life. His character and wisdom, even as a young man, were deeply impacting. Great Brother! May God rest his soul. Our condolences to the family. May God’s peace and grace comfort you. Blessings
Jerome Correy from Providence wrote on February 4, 2021 at 4:03 pm:
Wow hot the news late! I miss my brother Arthur is a real good man he always represented my business by sending me plenty of customer & he also hot me started with my first business in 1996. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be where I am today & I am grateful for his friendship. Love you my brother! I'm sure will meet again someday in paradise. My condolences to the family!!
Gail (Carpenter) Cavanaugh from N. Providence wrote on February 4, 2021 at 10:30 am:
I will always remember my cousin, Arthur's fondness for the family reunions and cookouts. Condolences for the family.
Mark Van Noppen from Providence wrote on February 2, 2021 at 9:22 pm:
I’m really sorry to hear about Art’s leaving us; my heart goes out to his loving family. Art and I had a special relationship - he had special relationships with lots and lots of people for sure; in my case he was a young branch manager at Hospital Trust and I was a first time home buyer when he coached me through borrowing process and gave me my first loan. We didn’t see each other often but when we did over the years it was always a bit of a celebration. Like many in our community I will miss him and can only say I hope our paths cross again somewhere somehow.
Darlene Price from WARWICK wrote on February 1, 2021 at 4:04 pm:
My sincere condolences to the Speaks family.
Theodore Chaplin from Woonsocket wrote on February 1, 2021 at 2:50 pm:
We would like to extend our sincerest sympathy to the family and hope that you find Peace and comfort knowing that he is Resting In Peace. Arthur was a friend of our family in Woonsocket R.I. and attended many family and holiday occasions as a most welcomed guest. He also attended services at the St. James Baptist Church and I always remembered him saying when driving my late beloved mother, Deaconess Mary L. (Chaplin) Watson "I Am Driving Precious Cargo". He was always kind and generous to my nephew and family members.
Vincent D Clement from PROVIDENCE wrote on February 1, 2021 at 9:39 am:
Heavy, I love you my Brother. I apologise for not communicating with you, I had no idea you were back in the hospital. We go back a long way and I will miss you. We share good memories with each other, and I will carry those with me. Until we meet again, rest in peace and God bless. Brother Vincent
Vincent D Clement from PROVIDENCE wrote on February 1, 2021 at 9:39 am:
Heavy, I love you my Brother. I apologise for not communicating with you, I had no idea you were back in the hospital. We go back a long way and I will miss you. We share good memories with each other, and I will carry those with me. Until we meet again, rest in peace and God bless. Brother Vincent
Christy Maniurka and Kayla Barnes from Mchenry, IL wrote on January 31, 2021 at 10:24 pm:
Irma and Kevin, we are so sorry for your loss. You are both in our thoughts and prayers.
Carmen Diaz-Jusino from Providence wrote on January 31, 2021 at 10:23 pm:
I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend Arturo. He will be truly missed and I hope that our Lord brings you and your family the much-needed peace during this sad time. My condolences to you and your family.
Diana Davis from Cranston, RI 02920 wrote on January 31, 2021 at 3:38 pm:
Arthur I always enjoy the conversations I had with you. I will miss you very.
Donna from Providence wrote on January 30, 2021 at 3:58 pm:
Arthur Speaks I had to remember who you were. God blessed your life. I thought about my cousin Dollie then I remembered. To many is to much. Providence R.I. Your funeral will be blessed. Pray for us
Milton & Barbara Davis plus Davis Family from Providence wrote on January 30, 2021 at 12:14 pm:
Saying goodbye to someone we love is heartbreaking. May you find comfort in all the special memories.
Michael Davis from PROVIDENCE wrote on January 30, 2021 at 12:06 pm:
Sorry for your loss I will miss you Cuz
Kevin Varella Sr from Providence, Ri wrote on January 30, 2021 at 10:48 am:
I remember heavy when his brother Larry introduced me to him when he was a referee he said keep an eye on him you may learn something from him he was an extraordinary nice guy you'll always be remembered, no he's in God's hands
Theresa McCauley from Providence wrote on January 30, 2021 at 9:43 am:
My heart and prayers to the family Sorry for your loss Arthur will be truly missed.Rest in Peace
Janette Conway from Cranston wrote on January 30, 2021 at 9:07 am:
Sorry for your loss, Arthur was a great person and will be missed.
Nancy Speaks and Family from Providence, RI wrote on January 30, 2021 at 12:41 am:
Erma , we are truly sorry for your loss. Arthur will be missed and he will never be forgotten, may his soul Rest In Peace.
Kenneth Dulgarian from Providence wrote on January 29, 2021 at 7:01 pm:
I had the wonderful pleasure working with Arthur when I chaired Prov Econ Developement years ago His personality and astuteness was larger than life. My condolences to his beautiful family , may God bless you in this time of loss. May all your wonderful memories sustain you. Respectfully Ken Dulgarian
Hon. Michael Solomon from Providence wrote on January 29, 2021 at 2:19 pm:
To the Speaks Family, I am so sorry for your families loss.I had the pleasure of meeting Arthur over 20 years ago. From that point forward, I considered him a friend. He was always the one to find a solution to a problem. My prayers are with you all. May he RIP>