Emil “Buddy” Sperling, 88, of Huron, died Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, at Admiral’s Pointe Nursing & Rehab, Huron.
“I served with pride” was the motto written upon Emil “Buddy” Sperling’s hat. This World War II Veteran embodied this quote until his final days.
Born in Cleveland, on July 22, 1924, Buddy was God’s gift to the world. After losing his mother at an early age, he had to quit school and get a job. Buddy’s job as a grocery deliverer allowed him to meet the love of his life, Mary Ellen. They wed in 1942 and soon after Buddy enlisted in the United States Army serving from 1943 to 1945. He was present at Normandy on D-day and fought a path that took him from Omaha Beach through Paris and on to Germany. Emil was once lucky enough to meet up with his older brother Norman, who also served during the war, in London. By the time Buddy was discharged, he was decorated with three Bronze Stars, a Good Conduct Medal, and a World War II Victory Medal. In his later years he was seldom seen without his World War II Veteran’s cap worn proudly on his head.
After completing his service to our country, Buddy began his service to his family and friends. He created and nurtured a beautiful family consisting of his wife and three children, Jimmy, Bobby, and Barbara Ann. But when need arose, he also cared for his wife’s grandmother, her mother, his father, and while his son served in the Navy during the Viet Nam War, his daughter-in-law and baby granddaughter. A man of humble means, Emil always opened his heart and home to those in need.
After a lifetime in Cleveland, Emil and Mary Ellen retired and found a new home in Huron. They embedded themselves in a supportive neighborhood on River Road where his brother Norman and sister-in-law Marie lived along the Huron River. Fishing was a favorite pastime. The untimely passing of Mary Ellen (Pinnow) his wife of 51 years, left a void in Buddy’s life. This opening was filled by Lou Ella Herb, with whom he kept company for ten loving years until her passing. The Sandusky Church of the Nazarene became his home and the heart of his spiritual life.
In Emil’s final act of service, he began volunteering at Admiral’s Pointe Nursing Home. Buddy would volunteer three days a week for five hours a day. Every day began with a quick visit to every resident telling them, “I love you and the God loves you too.” Buddy logged more than 10,000 hours of volunteer time while at Admiral’s Point which fittingly became his final home. The kindness showed Buddy and his family during his final days will always be remembered. Many have been blessed by his love and compassion. Emil “Buddy” Sperling will always be remembered for his service - service to his country, family, and anyone who needed a kind word or loving embrace.
He is survived by his children, James Howard of Cleveland, Robert Allen (Joyce) of Yucaipa, Calif., Barbara Israel (Richard) of Cleveland Heights; grandchildren, Sandra, Erin, Russell, and Amanda; and seven great-grandchildren; all of whom will miss him greatly.
Family and friends are invited to join us for a Home Going Service at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Sandusky Community Church of the Nazarene, 1617 Milan Road, Sandusky, Pastor David Flack presiding.
Donations can be made in Buddy’s name to either the Sandusky Church of the Nazarene, or Stein Hospice Services, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky OH 44870.
Foster Funeral Home & Crematory, Huron, is handling the arrangements. Condolences may be shared at fosterfh.com.