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home : obituaries : obituaries
February 3, 2023

11/11/2022 11:26:00 AM
Elwood Sperr

Elwood (Woody) D. Sperr, age 83, of Chisago City, Minnesota, passed away at home surrounded by family Sunday, November 6, 2022.

Elwood was born to Charles and Florence Sperr in Donnelly, Minnesota on April 4, 1939.  He is the 10th child of 12 siblings.  He met the love of his life for 57 years Marcella.  They were married September 26, 1959 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Richfield, Minnesota.  They had eight children; Debbie, Steve, Earl, Melanie, Bernadette, Veronica, Charlie, and Shane.

Elwood (Woody) was known as a legend. He was a great resource for parts and advice when it came to early Harley Davidson motorcycles, and yes, he was one of drag racing early pioneers racing Harley drag bikes that he built.  Woody was a top runner at Minnesota Dragways and the Twin Cities Drag strip through the 1960’s.  He had a love for cars and fast motorcycles.  He really enjoyed working on Harley Davidson motorcycles.  His favorite motorcycle was his 1961 Sportster he owned for about 20 years.

His first job was delivering newspapers, which his siblings sometimes helped with.  He also had a love for wood working.  He worked at a furniture store called Homemakers Quild, a very high end brand of furniture.  The hard, dedicated worker he was, he stayed working there and also worked at Northern Pump, which is now known as BAE, where he made, ran and tested rocket launchers.  He worked there a couple years.

Then from 1961 to 1973, he worked at Minneapolis Moline where he had a lot of different duties.  He went into the assembly portion for about 10 years where he installed front end loaders and backhoes on the tractors.  While also working at Minneapolis Moline in 1967, he had his first storefront business as one of the original owners of Drag Specialties.  When Minneapolis Moline closed down, Woody sold his part ownership of Drag Specialties and went to work at Grain Belt from 1973 to 1976 until it closed. He then went to Schmidt Brewery. He put up new equipment and put up all the beer lines.  He then received a call to go and work at Hamm’s Brewery.
 
In 1976, Elwood moved to Scandia, Minnesota where he purchased a 40 acre farm to open up his own custom motorcycle shop and raise his family of eight children. The shop was called Woody’s Chopper Shop – Wood’s Cycle Repair.  He ran the motorcycle shop out of the garage until a shop was built on the farm.  He farmed full time and operated the motorcycle shop full time, eventually selling the business and then the farm in 2003.

Elwood is preceded in death by his wife Marcella; parents Charles and Florence Sperr; his sisters; Fern, Irene, June, Lucille, Joyce, Mildred, Vera and brother Ralph.  
He is survived by his loving brother Clinton, and sisters Charlotte and Phyllis; and  children Debbie (Manuel) Krueger; Steve (Cindy) Sperr; Earl Sperr; Melanie (Lars) Ossmo; Bernadette Meinke; Veronica Sperr; Charles (Jennifer Starr) Sperr; and Shane (Hannah Prigge) Sperr, 15 grandchildren; and 15 great grandchildren.

Funeral Service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, November 12, 2022 at Chisago Lake Lutheran Church in Center City, Minnesota.  

Visitation 4 – 8 p.m. Friday at Grandstrand Funeral Home in Lindstrom, Minnesota, and one hour prior to the service at church.  Interment at Hillside Cemetery in Center City, Minnesota.  Condolences may be expressed online at www.grandstrandfh.com



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