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Ethyle

Ethyle W. Sperry

TUFTONBORO -- Ethyle Wiggin Sperry, 89, of Mirror Lake, formerly of Lynnfield, Mass., died Jan. 8, 2011, after a brief illness. She was born Nov. 7, 1921, to Agnes (O'Brien) and Leon R. Wiggin in Lynn, Mass. She graduated from Lynn English High School in 1939 and chose the General Electric Drafting School in lieu of attending the Vesper George School of Art (to which she had been awarded a scholarship). After graduation from the drafting program, she began work in the GE Steam Turbine Engineering Department. In 1945, she was moved to serve her country and joined the Women Accepted for Volunteer Service (WAVES) and trained at Great Lakes Naval Training Station to be a Gunnery Instructor (20 mm). At the conclusion of World War II she returned to General Electric where she met her husband of 61 years, Robert E. Sperry, who was the manager of steam turbine design. Family members include her children, Victoria Sperry Wheeler of Colchester, Vt., and Robert B. Sperry of Hampton. IN HER LIFE: Early in their married life, Mr. and Mrs. Sperry were active in the Thomson Golf and Country Club of Nahant and North Reading (Mass.) particularly in playing duplicate bridge at sanctioned events, garnering many master points. Also as a member of the Thomson Club, Mrs. Sperry hit a hole-in-one and was club champion in 1963. After the birth of their two children, the Sperrys moved to Lynnfield, Mass., where Mrs. Sperry soon became active in a variety of organizations: P.T.A., LHS Band Boosters, Lynnfield Art Guild and The Spotlighters of Lynnfield (a community theater group.) As a member of three of these groups, she initiated scholarships to help enable graduating high school seniors to pursue careers in art, music, or theater. Her personal participation in the Spotlighters ranged from behind-the-scenes work in stage design and makeup to a variety of character roles on stage, and her artwork garnered many awards at local art exhibitions. In 1979, the Sperrys moved to Mirror Lake and again Mrs. Sperry committed herself to becoming an integral part of her new community. She was an original member of the Lakes Region Newcomers Club and organized two duplicate bridge groups that are still in existence today. In 1980 she became a member of the Kingswood Golf Club and organized the first invitational and member/guest events, modeled on the USGA format. She was also a 12-year member of the New Hampshire Women's Golf League. New Hampshire was the perfect place to retire for Mrs. Sperry. She began skiing in 1940 at Cranmore Mountain and had many fond memories of the famous ski-mobile and the early ski trains from Boston. She ultimately became a member of the "70-plus" ski club in New Hampshire and traveled with her late husband to ski in Switzerland as well as to tour Ireland, England, Greece and Spain. Family members also include her son-in-law, Randolph Wheeler of Colchester, Vt; daughter-in-law Linda Harmon of Hampton; and two grandchildren, Kathleen Wheeler of Wrightwood, Calif., and Christopher Wheeler of Colchester, Vt. SERVICES: A memorial celebration of her life will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Visiting Nursing Association Hospice Program, P.O. Box 1620, South Main Street, Wolfeboro 03894 (www.vnahospice.net); The Caregivers of Wolfeboro, Main Street, Wolfeboro 03894; or the New England Ski Museum, Franconia 03580. Funeral arrangements are being made by the Baker-Gagne Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Wolfeboro. To pay condolences online, go to www.baker-gagnefuneralhomes.com.
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