Former Clarion County ADA Speer Dies at Age 66

Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 8.02.40 PMCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – David M. Speer, 66, of Clarion, retired Clarion County Attorney and former Assistant District Attorney, passed away unexpectedly on December 24, 2015 in the Clarion Hospital Emergency Room.

He was born on September 24, 1949 in Oil City; the son of the late Albert Thompson and Maryann Clark Speer.

Dave graduated from Clarion Area High School in 1967, Clarion State College in 1976, and The University of Baltimore in 1981 with a law degree.

He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1975 after serving two tours in Vietnam and received multiple commendations, including The Army Commendation Medal and The Bronze Star.

He was married to Barbara Komoroski on August 8, 1981, who survives.

After graduation from law school, Dave joined the law firm of Alexander, Garbarino, Kooman & Kifer as an Associate.  He later became a Partner with Alexander, Garbarino, Kifer, Speer & Neely where he practiced primarily in the area of criminal defense, representing hundreds of clients through the years.  Though he was a prominent defense attorney in Clarion County, in 2001 he decided to change the pace to criminal prosecution and was appointed as a Full-Time Assistant District Attorney for Clarion County.  He remained in that position until his retirement in June 2011.
As an Assistant District Attorney, Dave had the respect of fellow attorneys, Judges, and Police Officers.  He was the Juvenile Prosecutor as well and worked with both victims and juveniles. A man of his size and demeanor would melt at the hands of a child. They were never afraid of him. He always had a way of connecting with children, which seemed unbelievable to those who knew him outside the conference room.  There were many times when not everyone would agree with him (and maybe once he was wrong), but no one could argue with his knowledge and experience in the area of criminal law.  He was quick on his feet and while his comebacks and line of questioning in open court could be unorthodox at times, the results were usually in his favor. The details that he could remember without a single written note were unbelievable most of the time.  He rarely was “stumped” and could easily fake it, even if he was.   He was witty and funny and even years after his retirement, members of the bar and court system still discuss his “shining courtroom moments.”

After retirement he and his wife traveled a lot, seeing new places, visiting friends, and was Sole Proprietor of Cat’s Ass Distillery.

Dave was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Clarion. He was also a member of the Moose Lodge 101 in Clarion where he was a trustee and board member, and a member of the Eagles and American Legion, both of Clarion.

Dave was former Cochairman of the Autumn Leaf Festival.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters, Katelin Speer and fiancé Curtis Miles of Clarion and Mackenzie Speer of Pittsburgh, his mother-in-law, Geraldine Komoroski of Pittsburgh, his siblings, E. Ann Speer of Clarion, Kevin Speer and wife Carole of Brookville, Dennis Speer and wife Karen of Clarion, and Kathy Heims and husband David of Bessemer.

Dave is also survived by his aunts, Jane Kincaid and husband Chuck of Apollo, Shirley McNamara and husband Jack of Florida, Rose Marie Clark of Clarion, and Agnes Maureen “Peach” Clark of Monroeville, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, and the ladies of the County Seat.

Dave is preceded in death by his parents and his father-in-law, Leonard W. Komoroski.

Family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, December 28, 2015 at the Robert V. Burns Funeral Home in Clarion. A Christian Wake Service will be held at the end of the evening viewing.

Military honors will be accorded by the American Legion Post 66 of Clarion at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, December 29, 2015 in the Funeral Home.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Clarion with the Rev. Monty Sayers, as presider.

Interment will be in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery.

A celebration of Dave’s life will be held at the Clarion Moose Lodge 101 immediately following funeral services.

Donations in his honor can be made to the Clarion Moose Building Fund, 401 Grand Avenue Ext, Clarion, PA 16214 and to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Erie, PA in memory of Dr. William Schrantz and David Speer. Checks can be mailed directly to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 1645 West 8th Street, Erie, PA 16505 or can be made online at

Online condolences can be sent to the family by visiting

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