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Welcome to the memorial page for

Virginia C. (Swenson) Sperry

January 7, 1923 ~ April 23, 2017 (age 94)

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Memorial Service
May 20, 2017

10:30 AM
First Presbyterian Church
420 12th Street
Dawson, MN 56232

Virginia C. Sperry, of Dawson, passed away on April 23, 2017 at the Johnson Memorial Care Center in Dawson at the age of 94.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 10:30 AM at the First Presbyterian Church in Dawson.  Pastor Herb Rotunda will officiate and interment will be in the Dawson Cemetery.

Virginia Caroline (Swenson) Sperry was born on January 7, 1923 in Dawson Minnesota to Bertha and Sam Swenson. “Ginny” was always a joyful, intelligent  woman who spread happiness and music throughout her life. She was valedictorian of her class in Dawson before graduating from the University of Minnesota where she met the love of her life, Gale L. Sperry.

Virginia and Gale were married on December 28, 1943. Thereafter, their lives were intertwined as Ginny actively supported Gale’s career as a band director in Windom MN, Edina MN and the University of Minnesota. Gale subsequently became Director of bands and Chairman of Fine Arts at the University of South Florida, (Tampa) and the Florida Technological University, now the University of Central Florida (Winter Park). Wherever they lived, Ginny was a devoted wife and mother while also enriching the lives of countless individuals through her kindness, positive conviction and especially her joy of music which she taught and shared with all. Throughout her adult life, she was a renowned piano teacher and director of church choirs in the communities in which she lived, including the Edina Congregational Church and the Dawson Presbyterian Church.

When her beloved husband Gale died unexpectedly in 1973, Virginia remained in Winter Park, FL, teaching piano and managing a Florida senior activities center while her youngest son completed high school and college. In 1989, Virginia returned to Dawson to be closer to her sisters and her mother, Bertha Swenson, a native and iconic resident of Dawson and the “honorary gnome” in 1990, who lived to be almost 108 years old. While assisting with the care of her mother, Virginia continued to teach piano lessons and direct the church choir until her retirement in 2007.

Virginia is survived by her sister Effie (John) Deno; her children, Jack (Karen) Sperry in Texas, Carol (Joel) Johnson in Florida, Victor (Isabel) Sperry in California; her grandsons Gage and Trent Sperry; and her much-loved nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Bertha and Sam Swenson; her devoted husband, Gale Sperry; her sister, Barbara Lundquist; and her granddaughter, Vanessa Sperry-Rask.

The family wishes to thank the Johnson Memorial Care Center staff and Rice Hospice for their loving support and care.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made towards the construction of the new care center at Johnson Memorial, through the foundation:

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