View Original NoticeSPERRING, Thomas Jan 15, 1934 - Mar 30, 2020

Thomas Roger Sperring Sr., age 86, known as “Tom,” and “Papa” to family and friends, passed away on March 30, 2020, at Haven E. T. York Care Center due to cardiovascular disease. Tom is survived by his beloved wife of 46 years, Phyllis Sperring, his four children, Roger Sperring (Diana), Audrey Mullett (Scott), Randy Sperring (Josephine), and Stacie Maurer (Craig), his brother, Reginald (Bo) Sperring (Shirley), his sisters, Ellen Sperring Cooke (Bob), Frances Sperring, and Betty Sperring Chester (Max), eleven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Charles Willard Sperring and Evie Platt Sperring, his brothers: David Sperring (Ruth), Lewis Sperring (Kathryn), Charles Sperring (Barbara), and Ollen Sperring (Julia), and his sister, Dorothy Sperring Neeper (Ray).
Tom was born in Live Oak, Florida on January 15, 1934. His close-knit, Christian family often reminisces about growing up on the family farm when they gather for their annual Thanksgiving family reunion with 100+ immediate and extended family members. Tom was one of everyone’s favorites, as his love for them was pure and unyielding.
He graduated from Suwannee High School in 1952, where he was one of the fastest on the football team. Upon Tom’s graduation, his father suffered a stroke and needed help with the family farm. Tom chose to join the Air Force, allowing Bo an exemption to help his father. He served in the Korean War along with David. A distinctive memory from that time was when David changed planes at the air base where Tom was stationed, but departed minutes before Tom learned he was there.
Always conscientious and independent, Tom was a natural entrepreneur. After serving our country, he moved to Tampa and worked for the state in pest eradication and control. Tom then began his own cleaning business, which grew from just himself to approximately 700 employees. They cleaned homes, offices, churches, and restaurants, and his business was awarded state contracts extending outside of Tampa, despite never advertising. He always did things his own way and used to say he wanted Frank Sinatra’s “I Did it My Way” played at his funeral.
There were hints of Tom’s great acumen for business even during his childhood. While raising a heifer calf, he traded it for a 1934 Ford, which he later drove to Jacksonville, Tampa, and Gainesville, to attend FFA meetings. During his farming days, he and Bo used to crop tobacco for $3 per day. Despite not enjoying farming, Tom worked six days per week, compared to Bo’s five, in order to earn more money. Tom had a strong sense of responsibility and always followed through, tirelessly and without objection.
In November of 1973, Tom married Phyllis and their two families became one. Tom and Phyllis remained as much in love as they were when they first met. They are one of the lucky couples who have what we all dream of, everlasting love that stays exciting and fun even after more than four decades. They had a deep love for each other but at the same time, were best friends and savvy business partners. They remained affectionate and inseparable throughout the years, cheering for the Gators, working, attending charity events, nurturing Tom’s love for antique cars, traveling, and watching their family grow. One of their greatest joys was supporting the Florida Gators and being longtime members of the Bull Gators program. Tom was the patriarch of the family and was their source of strength, always available to give advice, assistance, and unconditional love. There was no end to his generosity and his love of family.
Tom had a wide variety of interests and enjoyed his life, full of challenges, successes, and endless new discoveries. He even owned and piloted his own aircraft, flying from Gainesville to military bases in Tampa, Jacksonville, Pensacola, Georgia and Alabama to support his businesses. During that time he took charge of cleaning 4-Star General, Norman Schwarzkopf’s office at MacDill Air Force Base. He received the maintenance contract for The University of
Florida Athletic Department cleaning the skyboxes as well as Ben Hill Griffin stadium. Tom’s businesses included key contracts such as the General Electric plant, cleaning the Oaks Mall and Silver Springs in Ocala; street and parking lot sweeping; draw bridge tending throughout Florida; maintenance of rest areas; tending locks and dams built by the Army Corps of Engineers; and owning a water treatment plant in Flagler Beach.
When it came time to sell his main business, C&S Building Maintenance, and ‘retire,’ it wasn’t long before he and Phyllis along with his best friend, Robert Rush, opened the CSI Academy of Florida, providing crime scene analysis education. It was hard to distinguish which of his ongoing ventures were business and which were hobbies because every aspect of his life involved adventure and the intrigue of possibilities. Tom always lived for the present, forging ahead with courage and wonderment despite having said, “One hundred years from now no one will know the difference.” His wide range of diversity of interests knew no bounds and there was nothing Tom could not do, at least from what his family witnessed. He did it all and he did it his way, but most of all, he did it with humility and always remained a simple man who was born on a farm in Live Oak.
Tom will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. We are all wiser and more fulfilled having been a part of the beautiful life of this kind, successful family man who did it all, his way.
Due to the impact of the Coronavirus we are unable to have a funeral service. A Celebration of Life will be coordinated on a later date.

View Original NoticeSPERRING, Thomas Jan 15, 1934 - Mar 30, 2020