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DAKOTA IMAGES | Winifred Hubler Speece

DAKOTA IMAGES | Winifred Hubler Speece

Winifred “Wynn” Hubler Speece, known to many as the “Neighbor Lady,” was the voice of a popular South Dakota radio show for more than sixty years.

Speece was born on 1 September 1917 in Marshalltown, Iowa. She grew up in Des Moines, where she later attended Drake University to study speech and broadcasting. After graduating in 1939, she began working as a commercial writer for WNAX radio in Yankton. The station, which initially operated out of the Gurney Seed building after its 1922 founding, featured local talent like Lawrence Welk.

“Your Neighbor Lady,” a radio show created and written by Speece, began airing on the station in 1941. On the program, Speece offered recipes, discussed domestic activities, and shared humorous anecdotes from her daily life. Her program resonated with many Midwestern women. At the height of the show’s popularity in the 1940s and ’50s, she received over 250,000 letters from listeners annually. She continued to broadcast the show until 2005. Speece put the “Neighbor Lady” into print as well, writing a weekly column for South Dakota newspapers. She also published multiple cookbooks and toured the Midwest with live cooking shows.

In 1946, she married Harry L. Speece, with whom she had four children. The South Dakota Hall of Fame inducted her as a member in 2005. She earned multiple awards for her work, including the Marconi Award for “small market personality of the year” and an honorary doctorate from Mt. Marty College. Yankton named her Citizen of the Year in 1991 for her involvement in the community. She died in Yankton on 22 October 2007. A memorial scholarship fund was established in her honor.