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Roll Call Tribute

John Sperry '72 October 31, 2023 2:03 PM updated: October 31, 2023 2:13 PM

John David Sperry 
June 23, 1950 - September 29, 2023 

John David was born in Bryan, Texas, to John Jerome and Harriett Gwinner Sperry. He grew up in a family of 6 kids. John had to contend with 3 older sisters and was joined by two younger brothers. Growing up in College Station, then a small college town, Aggie and A&M became part of John’s DNA. John went to Wee Aggieland Kindergarten, then to A&M Consolidated Schools; becoming a student at Texas A&M University was a natural transition. John was active in the Boy Scouts, achieving the level of Life Scout. He played baritone in the A&M Consolidated High School band. He was also active in the Spanish Club in high school, serving as President. John and his family attended A&M Methodist Church. He was a huge fan of Led Zepplin and Jimi Hendrix. John liked math and numbers, a passion which became a profession.

John and his best friend, Jim Hanna, bonded walking home from Little League tryouts. The Sperry home was on an acre lot, so the back yard was the baseball diamond, the front yard the football field and the (paved!) driveway was the basketball court. Eventually, John’s dad planted 6 oak trees in the front yard, which were viewed as extra defensive backs. As John’s dad was a professor of plant taxonomy, they pretty much aced the 5th grade flower collection project. John’s mother taught high school American History. After high school, John and Jim went across the street to A&M. 

Following graduation from A&M in 1973, John started his career as a Staff Auditor with Price Waterhouse & Co. With a new career and a young family, John was a busy man. His daughters, Jenny and Andrea recall their father’s love of music; everything from the Beatles to Alan Jackson. Saturday mornings meant a trip to the doughnut shop. The whole car would be singing "Hey Jude" or "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Their own children grew up singing to the Beatles just like they did. While it hurts that he isn't here, they feel sure their father is now at the concert of his lifetime.

John and Betty were married on July 13, 1985. Having spent the evening listening to jazz music under the full moon by the pool, their love story ended in a way that only God can grant. Married to Betty for 38 years, they remained deeply in love up to the minute he passed away lying beside her. After graduating college in 2017, their daughter, Samantha, joined the Kelsey-Seybold family in the Central Business Office. Samantha is heartbroken by the loss of her father and aspires to carry on his legacy of kindness and integrity.

John retired as vice president of finance and CFO of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic from 1998-2022. Strategic. Kind. Integrous. Funny. These are just some of the words used to describe the kind of person John was. John modeled the Kelsey-Seybold values in his interactions with staff, providers, and leadership – earning him the trust and respect needed to help lead the doctors through several transitions and transactions during his tenure. John was known throughout the organization as a patient teacher and an excellent mentor. His gift to guide people, teams, and the organization to higher ground is observed in the continued successes of his colleagues, and the entire organization. In 2009, when Kelsey-Seybold became an independent healthcare system, it was the continuity of John’s steady hand that helped guide the group during this monumental moment in the practice’s history. The transaction with St. Luke’s Episcopal solidified John’s legacy and earned him recognition as a Kelsey-Seybold Fellow in 2011. At the time, John was one of only four non-physicians to receive this honor. He continued to use his skills even after retirement to serve the community as an external member of the audit committee for UT Health Houston.

The memorial service will be held at Methodist Sugar Land on Saturday, October 14th, at 2 o'clock p.m. 431 Eldridge Road, Sugar Land, TX 77478. 


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