In Memory of




Obituary for Wilbur William Sperling

Wilbur William Sperling, age 96, a resident of River Falls, WI., passed away peacefully on May 25, 2023. Wilbur was born on July 28, 1926 to parents Anna and Elsmer Sperling and was raised in Iron Ridge, WI. Wilbur attended Mayville High School and Oshkosh State Teachers College where he earned his degree in history and speech. He taught at the Webster and La Crosse High schools and earned his master’s degree at UW Madison.

Wilbur married Jennie Taub on August 17, 1947.

In 1954 Wilbur was awarded a Ford Foundation Grant to study comparative government in Washington, DC and at the U.N. in New York City. Bill’s next adventure was as the concessions manager at Milwaukee County Stadium for the Milwaukee Braves and introduced bratwurst to professional baseball.

Wilbur worked his way up the corporate ladder becoming vice president of Look Magazine and Readers Digest with his office overlooking 488 Madison Ave. New York City.

Having reached the pinnacle of success in the business world, he returned to Madison to complete his doctorate and then joined the administration at UW River Falls, as alumni director and later, Vice Chancellor. Bill was best known for the voice of the Falcons announcing football, basketball and hockey for 32 years.

Wilbur was an avid sports fan, especially the Green Bay Packers. In his spare time, he loved fishing, hunting, bowling, bingo and spending time with his friends and family. He also enjoyed volunteering at church and with the Lions Club. Wilbur always smiling, was a friend to all, and had an amazing work ethic, living his motto – Never Settle for Less Than Your Best!

Wilbur is preceded in death by his parents and loving wife, Jennie.

He is survived by his children, Mary (Bryan) Rivard, Susan Hexum, Mark (Patricia) Sperling; grandchildren, Andrew Franko, Aaron Franko, Nicole (Noah) Kelm,Tanner Sperling and Brandon Sperling; great grandchildren, Ava, Rochelle and Tristan; along with sister, Ruth and other relatives and multitudes of friends.

Bill’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 4:00 PM (visitation from 3:00 – 4:00 PM) at the First Congregational Church in River Falls, WI. (110 N. 3rd St.) followed by a bratwurst picnic.

Arrangements were entrusted to Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home, Webster. Online condolences can be made at