John Wayne Sperling

July 5, 1940November 5, 2012

John Wayne Sperling, 72, passed away on November 5, 2012, surrounded by his children and best friend in his home in McAllen, TX. He was diagnosed with lung cancer on August 29, 2012. John was a humble man of few words, but a big heart. He was born on July 5, 1940 in Latham, Kansas to Gilbert and Thelma Wright Sperling. John grew up in Oklahoma City. He graduated from Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1958. After high school he enlisted in the US Army, he was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division as a communications specialist/paratrooper. In 1965, he opened John’s Place in Denton, TX. His favorite longtime customer was Hall of Fame NFL player Mean Joe Green who went to college in Denton. In 1970, he partnered with Jim Barrett owning many Sonic Drive In’s. In 1986, he left Sonic and went with Stars Drive In’s in South, TX. John knew so much about the restaurant business that you could hold a phone up to a piece of equipment and by listening to it he could tell you which part needed to be replaced, the part number and who to call to get it. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and golf. John was preceded in death by his father, Gilbert Sperling. John is survived by his mother, Thelma Walden of Wichita, KS; his daughter, Vickie Sperling of Bethany, OK; and his son, Jared Sperling of Portland, TX; his grandchildren, Kayla Smith and Megan McNiff and Brandon, Evan, Justin and Payton Sperling; his brother, Kenneth Sperling of Anchorage, Alaska and his sister, Sandra Robertson of Merritt Island, FL; his great grandchild, Maelee McNiff and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held Friday, November 9, 2012 at Funeraria Del Angel 3611 N. Taylor Rd. Mission, TX 78572 at 10AM, interment will follow at Valley Memorial Gardens in Mission, TX. A visitation will be held Thursday, November 8, 2012 from 3PM to 9PM. The family will be greeting friends and relatives from 3PM to 4PM. A memorial service will also be held in Oklahoma City, OK on November 13, 2012 at 10AM at the Hahn-Cook Street and Draper Chapel at 6600 Broadway Extension.


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, November 13, 2012

John Wayne Sperling

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Olivia Stadnyk Ken Orr

November 11, 2012

Our sincere condolences go out to the family. It will not be the same at the TGR without John in Unit 10,

Michael & Traci Pennington

November 10, 2012

May he rest in peace. So mote it be!

Lettie Gonzalez

November 9, 2012

I had the great pleasure of calling John a friend for 20 years.. My deepest condolences to his family. What I remember the most are John's stories about his Mom and the meals she cooked for him. I will miss him dearly..

Robert D. Gomez

November 8, 2012

I met John twenty years ago, though ten years elder to me, we talked life, marriage, military, kids,business, over a cold beer. I'll miss those talks, take care my friend.

Noe & Rosy De Los Reyes

November 8, 2012

Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you.

Danny Cadena

November 8, 2012

I had the honor to work with John for many years. He was the equipment guru and was always a wealth of information on food service. He was always in a great mood and always maintained a positive attitude. I learned a lot from him and will be eternally grateful.

Danny Cadena
Sonic Drive In