Robert Sporer, ‘Captain RJ’ of Shelbyville dies at 88

Robert J. Sporer of Shelbyville, known as “Captain RJ,” a proud Navy man, died Monday, Oct. 23. He was 88.

Born July 18, 1929, he was raised on the western shores of Lake Michigan. As a young man, he became an Eagle Scout, which led him to Sea Scouts. He was raised in Menominee and was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Anna Sporer.

The Captain was married to his wife and first mate, Carol (Knutsen) Sporer in 1954. They lived in Parchment, where he worked at the paper mill and they raised their family. Bob (as he was called by most of his friends) and Carol’s love for the water brought them to Gun Lake for many years as campers, and in 1981, they made it home and would winter in Florida. Bob and Carol spent countless summer days playing with their children and grandchildren in the waters on their beach.

The Captain is survived by his wife, Carol, his daughter, Karen B. Brown, his son; David C. Sporer and wife (Kathy Zimmerman Sporer) and three grandchildren, Kari Brown, Lt. Daniel C. Sporer and his wife (Rebekah Vizdos Sporer), and Kimberly (Sporer) Radcliff with her husband, Mark Radcliff. He is also survived by three great-grandchildren; Finn Sporer, Matthew Radcliff and Katelynn Radcliff.

A gathering of family and friends will be held at Brookdale Senior Living 3100 West Old Center on Sunday, Nov. 5, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Tea Room.

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