Clarence Gerald "Jerry" Sperbeck
November 27, 1931 – November 30, 2018
Clarence Gerald “Jerry” Sperbeck, age 87, died November 30th at Scottsdale Osborn Hospital after battling various illnesses. Mr. Sperbeck is survived by his wife, Estela Avila Sperbeck, and children: Victoria Canada (Scott), Jerry Abshier (Natalie) and Tom Abshier (Rosita), His beloved grandchildren, Ella and Wesley Canada. His Sister-in-Law Isabel Lightbourn Avila and Siblings Shirley Abiusi (Phil), Dorothy Sperbeck (Alan Cornell), Charles Sperbeck (Bobbie), and Christy Swenszkowski, as well as many wonderful Nieces and Nephews. He was preceded in death by Daughter Samantha Sperbeck, Debbie Laxton, brother in law Guillermo “Memo” Avila, Siblings Joe Sperbeck, David (Jean) Sperbeck, George Sperbeck, Jean Sperbeck Dillon, Billy Sperbeck, and Jimmy Sperbeck Jerry lived a life of service, perseverance, and honor. He was a decorated veteran of the Korean War and was honored with a Purple Heart due to his time as a POW; Private First Class Gerald Sperbeck was captured by the Chinese and held in a Korean POW Camp from 25 April 1951 until his release on 19 August 1953. As the eldest son of Clarence Sperbeck and Rosemary Kieffer Sperbeck of Clark Mills, NY, he learned to help provide for his family from an early age. Jerry left school to work and despite never completing the 7th grade, he managed to create a life of distinction that was rooted in a fierce loyalty to his family and a love for people less fortunate than himself. Jerry eventually joined the United States Army where he earned his GED and continued his education earning both Bachelors and Masters Degrees at The University of Texas at El Paso. While in the Army, he was a drill sergeant at Ft. Bliss and a Missile Maintenance Chief at White Sands Missile Range. He was also a successful marketing manager at Ft. Bliss and William Beaumont Army Medical Center where he honed his legendary sales skills. Throughout his life, Jerry took pride in serving others and was actively involved in his beloved El Paso community. During his “retirement”, Jerry continued his legacy of service through several volunteer opportunities. Perhaps most dear to his heart was Operation Santa Claus- countless disadvantaged children were able to experience the joy and magic of Christmas thanks to this organizations efforts. He also ran the Beaumont Craft Shop for several years and dedicated many hours as a Youth Services Director at Beaumont and Ft. Bliss. With a love for history and art, Jerry was a Renaissance man through and through. He was as comfortable speaking about history as he was working with tools and creating art and jewelry, however; his greatest legacy is the lasting friendships he made throughout his 87 years. Jerry always left those he met with a story, a kind word or a gift and he told everyone he met that his lovely wife Stella was the best decision he ever made. His success in life can be directly attributed to his work ethic, natural curiosity and intelligence; he worked hard and loved his family even harder. We will miss him greatly but are grateful for the gifts he gave us while on this earth: his love of family, a profound dedication to his country, his desire to be in service to others, a firm respect for education and an endless desire to help those in need. Graveside service will be held on January 10, 2019 at 2:30pm at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery, 5200 Fred Wilson 79906, El Paso TX. www.martinfuneralhomewest.com
- Estela Avila Sperbeck, Wife
- Victoria Canada (Scott), Daughter
- Jerry Abshier (Natalie), Son
- Tom Abshier (Rosita), Son
- Mr. Sperbeck is also survived by his grandchildren, Ella and Wesley Canada. His Sister-in-Law Isabel Lightbourn Avila and Siblings Shirley Abiusi (Phil), Dorothy Sperbeck and Alan Cornell, Charles Sperbeck (Bobbie), and Joe Sperbeck, David (Jean) Sperbeck, George Sperbeck, Jean Sperbeck Dillon, Billy Sperbeck, and Jimmy Sperbeck as well as many wonderful Nieces and Nephews. He was preceded in death by Daughters Samantha Sperbeck, Debbie Laxton, Brother-in-Law Guillermo "Memo" Avila and Christy Swenszkowski.
In Memory of Jerry Sperbeck, Operation Santa Claus
P.O. Box 6708, Fort Bliss, Texas 79906
- The El Paso Community Foundation
- Graveside Service Thursday, January 10, 2019
Clarence Gerald "Jerry" Sperbeck
January 21, 2019
I just now found out about Jerry’s passing. He was such an extraordinary person, I feel it should have been announced on national news. It makes me enormously sad to know I’ll never hear him tell another story, but so happy that I knew him. He was one of the most influential people in my life and it’s hard to write this because of the tears pouring. I am the producer of a theatrical show called “Letters From The Front.” My husband Bob is the writer/director and we toured military bases around the world for 15 years. Our show includes actual war letters from all major American conflicts, including a letter Jerry wrote to his mother when he was a POW and a letter from his grandmother to the family when they found out Jerry was alive. Hundreds of thousands of troops and their families lives were touched by our show and I can say without hesitation that this would have never happened if it hadn’t been for Jerry. He showed me how things worked on the bases, he introduced me to potential sponsors, he was my mentor and my friend. Thank God for Jerry Sperbeck. This world is a better place because he was here. God bless his family. He will be missed by countless people.