From a contemporary press report:
Colonel Daniel Paul Sperling, U.S. Air Force, retired, 71, departed from this life on Tuesday, May 22, 2001. Born in Los Angeles, California, he began his military career in 1947 as a seaman recruit in the United States Navy. His extensive academic accomplishments included graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1953, a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1962, a Master of Aerospace Operations Management from the University of Southern California in 1970, and a Master of Education from Pepperdine University in 1972. In addition to these achievements, he earned several other college degrees of various specialties. Lifelong learning was his passion.
Upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, he transferred to the United States Air Force. He retired from military service in 1981 and had lived in Poquoson, Virginia, for the last 23 years.
His level of dedication to his military career pales in comparison to his devotion to family. He would have celebrated 38 years of marriage with his devoted and loving wife, Jean, on May 24. Other survivors include son, Ron, Major, U.S. Air Force, and his
wife, Gigi; daughter, Julie West and her husband, Bill; daughter, Laura Gendron and her husband, Tim; son, Todd and his wife, Kim; three grandchildren; and niece, Ramona Propst.
In his final years, he grew very close to his three grandchildren, Evan (son of Ron and Gigi), Jacob and Noah (sons of Laura and Tim). He showered them with the same special attention enjoyed by his own children.
The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 tonight at Claytor Rollins Funeral Home in Poquoson and other times at the home. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home by Chaplain Rick Montoya. Burial will be 9 a.m. on June 1 in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Poquoson Volunteer Rescue Squad, 1035 Poquoson Ave., 23662 or the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 96911, Washington, D.C. 20090-6911.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard