CEO of Glenview's Illinois Tools Works Dies at 61

David Speer, a Winnetka resident, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 17.

David B. Speer, 61, passed away on Saturday after batting cancer, the Glenview Announcements reports. 

The longtime chairman and CEO of Illinois Tool Works Inc. has been on medical leave from the Glenview-based industrial equipment maker since October, Chicago Tribune reported. 

Speer was replaced by E. Scott Santi as CEO, and Robert Morrison as nonexecutive board chairman, according to the News Gazette. 

The Winnetka resident joined ITW in 1978 and was elected CEO in 2005. A year later Speer became board chairman, The News-Gazette reported. 

ITW stock outperformed the broader market while Speer served as CEO, during that time the company’s revenue also grew about 40 percent, to about $18.2 billion, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. 

Born on April 6, 1951, Speer studied industrial engineering at Iowa State University and earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. 

Speer was the much beloved husband of Barbara Speer nee Brugenhemke; loving father of Blake Speer and Sarah (Gareth) Walter; fun grandfather of River Walter; devoted son of Mary Frances and the late Richard N. Speer; dear brother of Richard N. Jr. (Tami) Speer, Diana (Bob) Kesler, Debbie (Roger) Ruthhart, Daphne (Richard) Turner, DeeDee (Bruce) Williams and Deane (Darryl) Price; fond uncle of many nieces and nephews; most wonderful friend to many. 

Visitation will be held Tuesday, November 20, from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Donnellan Family Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, November 21, 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 1077 Tower Road, Winnetka. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Big Shoulders Fund, 212 West Van Buren Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60607 or Adopt Sassier, Haitian Student, c/o Sacred Heart Church. 

Editor's Note: This obituary was provided by Donnellan Family Funeral Services. You can read more local obituaries on our obituaries page.

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