John Spencer Sperry

Friday, September 3, 2010

John Spencer Sperry died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010. John was born on Oct. 12, 1940, in Artesia, N.M., the last of the three children of Wesley Roy Sperry and Helen Watford Sperry. He was married on Feb. 17, 1968, to Nuala Delaney, who survives of the home.

Born and raised in New Mexico, he graduated from Artesia High School as valedictorian of his class. He then graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of New Mexico in 1963. He worked for Shell Chemical Company for 10 years, living in Los Angeles and New York City. Next, he and others formed Carmel Energy, in Deerfield, Mo., eventually becoming president. He was the holder of five U.S. patents, two Canadian patents, and one Venezuelan patent, two government reports, and two technical reports. John loved his garden. His family called him Farmer John. Neighbors and friends shared his produce.

He was an avid bridge player, belonging to several bridge groups and enjoyed discussing politics and watching sports. He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, where he was a cantor and a lector. He was also the project manager when the new school and parish hall were built.

In addition to his wife, John is survived by his daughter, Carolyn Lewis, and her husband, Steve, Los Angeles, Calif.; his son, Patrick Sperry, and his wife, Ursula, of Park Ridge, Ill.; and his grandchildren, Conrad and Evelyn Sperry, and Sean Edwin Lewis. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Donald, and his sister, Carolyn.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Nevada, with the Rev. Justin Hoye officiating. Visitation will be held at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada, Tuesday, Sept. 7, between 6 and 8 p.m.

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