Roger Louis Sperry, 77, formerly of Louisiana, Mo., died Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, at the Veteran’s Home in Mexico, Mo. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Collier Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Roger was born on July 21, 1944, in Washington, Mo., to Louis and Esther Sperry. He was their second child and first-born son.
Roger grew up in Clarksville, where by his teenage years, he earned a reputation for being a hard worker and full of mischief. He attended and graduated from Clopton High School in 1962, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1963.
On Sept. 10, 1966, he married Donna Setzer of Annada and made their home in Louisiana, Mo., where they were blessed with their only child, Joseph Ray.
Roger both worked and played hard, oftentimes holding down two or more jobs to provide for his family. In his “spare” time, he built cars for racing and drove No. 31 on quarter-mile dirt tracks where he was a local favorite from 1970-72.
In 1972, he started his own business, Sperry Decorating, which he ran successfully7 for five years. During these years, Roger was an active member of the Jaycees, played several seasons of slow pitch softball, and enjoyed weekends boating on the Mississippi River with his family and friends.
In 1977, Roger and family moved to Campbell, Calif., where Roger became a facilities manager for Hewlett Packard. He was highly regarded and well-loved by his employees. After 22 years with HP, Roger retired at the age of 54. While living in California, he enjoyed boating, fishing, camping, spending time at their Sierra Mountain home, square dancing, and flipping houses. He was always happiest when busy.
Roger and Donna relocated in 1999 to Rogers, Ark., where they built a home on Beaver Lake. There Roger enjoyed feeding the deer and other wildlife, and it was here that he acquired his nickname of “the Deer Whisperer.” As always, he enjoyed fishing boating, and swimming. Every Fall, they spent their days traveling across the U.S. in their motorhome before settling in Apache Junction, Ariz., for the winter.
As years passed, they found themselves spending more and more time in the Louisiana and Clarksville area. In 2006, he and Donna decided to move back home to Missouri. They purchased a house in Paris Hills where Roger spent the next 10 years reconnecting with family and lifelong friends over morning coffee, car shows, community events, and grandchildren. On occasion, he would paint a house “just to keep in practice.” In 2016, they downsized to a smaller home in Bowling Green.
Roger’s parents, Louis and Esther; his father and mother-in-law Ray and Melba Setzer; and one brother-in-law, Steve Berry, all died earlier.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Donna (Setzer) Sperry; his son, Joe and wife, Angela, and three grandsons, Luke, Cody and Maverick, all of Campbell. CA. He is also survived by three siblings: sister Sandra of Lawrenceville, Ga.; brother, Ronnie and wife, Terry of Louisiana, Mo.; and brother, Jim, and wife, Rita, of Bowling Green, Mo. Also surviving are brothers and sisters-in-law: Joann Berry, Jim and Glenna Setzer, David and Linda Setzer, Angela and Rocky Brown, Tammy Denton, Kevin and Tonya Setzer, Carla Seter and Richard Vargas; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Online condolences may be shared at www.collierfuneralcom.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Clopton Alumni Association in care of Collier Funeral Home, 117 Bernard Drive, Louisiana, MO 63353.
Anyone who knew Roger would agree that beneath a gruff exterior, he was a kind man with a big heart who genuinely cared about the people in his life. He will be sorely missed by all.