Life Story / Obituary
Michael Ralph Sparbel passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife and four sons in the early afternoon on Thursday, September 22, 2022, at Ascension All Saints Hospital in Racine, Wisconsin at the age of 67.
Mike was born at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Rock Island, Illinois on October 14, 1954, at 6:15 PM. He was the only son of his beloved mother, Avis Margaret Sparbel.
Mike grew up in the loving care of his mother and aunts Helen, Julie, and Ruth. As a young man he earned money by mowing lawns and proudly saved enough money to buy his own John Deere lawn mower. He graduated from Rock Island High School in 1972. He worked his way through college by working nights at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Rock Island. His hard work paid off and he graduated from Augustana College with an Accounting Degree in 1976. On December 19, 1980, he was united in marriage to Bernadine Morris (née Froehlich). Seeking greater opportunity, Mike and Bernie bravely moved their family to Racine, Wisconsin where he purchased Belle City Refrigeration, which soon became Comfort Systems of Racine. He proudly operated his business for over 35 years. He enjoyed sharing conversations with his many customers and friends. In his free time, he enjoyed fishing and he shared that passion with his sons. Mike was a long time member of the Greater Racine Kennel Club and enjoyed agility training and competing with his Jack Russell terrier, Rudy. Mike and Rudy won many awards in their career together and Rudy considered them to be inseparable. He was an avid gardener and enjoyed breakfast out with his friends. He also enjoyed grilling and following college football. Above all it was the time spent with his family that he treasured the most. Mike was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who will be dearly missed.
Surviving are his wife of nearly 41 years, Bernie; 4 sons, Robert (Amy), Benjamin (Carrie), Bradley (Terra) and Daniel; 7 grandchildren, Haley, Luke, Charlie, Owen, Tristram, Isabella, and Riverlyn; his half-sister, Robin Sparbel; in-laws, Clementine (the late Edwin) Privatsky, Clara (Conrad) Dietz, Lucille (the late Charles) Armstrong, Frank (Karen) Froehlich, Joseph (Tanya) Froehlich; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Avis Sparbel; dear aunts, Elnora, Helen, Ruth, and Julie; and his beloved dog, Rudy.
Funeral services will be held at Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at 7 PM. With Reverend Laura Fladten officiating. Friends and family may meet for visitation prior to the service from 5-7 PM. Memorials to the American Diabetes Association, the National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin or one’s favorite charity have been suggested.