Emilie Mae Sperl, 47


February 29, 2024

Emilie Mae Sperl

Emilie Mae Sperl, 47

Emilie Mae Sperl passed peacefully from this world on January 6, 2024. Emilie was born July 1, 1976 to Dennis and Dorothy (Bentley) Sperl in Petersburg, Alaska. She was the third of six adventurous children and her early years were spent with her family at their homestead at Green Rocks "across the bay." In the house her dad built they gardened, raised animals, fished and foraged.

Emilie was very excited to be able to start school at Rae C Stedman Elementary. On most days, her older brother skiffed them across the Narrows to Papkes Landing. They then walked up the long ramp, another mile up Papkes Road to Hoopie and her school bus for an 11 mile multi-stop ride to town. In the heart of winter, like much of Alaska, it was often dark both ways with an occasional wolf howl to help them scurry home the way they had come.

In 1983, the Sperl family moved back to "town" on Mitkof Island where Emilie finished grade school and continued on to middle and high school. She enjoyed water skiing, knee-boarding, boating and cruising with friends. Growing up, it became quite apparent that Emilie had a natural artistic talent. She was able to take classes from artist Jewelldean Herbrandson, which she thoroughly enjoyed, and soon she was selling a few pieces locally.

While in high school, Emilie participated in basketball, volleyball, cross-country running, freshman play and Arctic Winter Games. She attended the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, Close Up, and the 1994 Alaska Jr Miss Pageant, just to name a few. After graduating as a member of the National Honor Society, Emilie was accepted to Cornish College of Art and Design in Seattle, WA and took classes there for a year while living in Capitol Hill.

Emilie held various jobs over the years, most in Petersburg and most in the seafood industry. Maintenance Manager, Purchasing Accountant, Office manager, Fleet Manager, Construction with her brothers, charter yacht chef, and most recently, Corporate Purchasing/Analyst for OBI Seafoods. In 2017, in collaboration with OBI, Emilie designed Cannery Park, which showcases over 100 years of Petersburg Seafood production.

Emilie thoroughly enjoyed her time and comrades during her years volunteering for the Petersburg Fire Department as Lieutenant and, likewise, with the San Juan Island Fire and Rescue. Some of her favorite memories were from drill nights and traveling with the Petersburg crew to the Alaska Fire Conference. Another highlight of memories for her were her years as a Valkyrie where she was honored with the title and role of Queen "Lewdfiska" until she retired. She also helped design and build longships for two proper Viking funeral ceremonies.

Emilie enjoyed family and friends, small town life with the occasional trip off the rock, and problem solving. She liked deep conversations, cooking, building things and truly loved hearing about the recent antics and life events of all her beloved nieces and nephews. Those who knew her, loved her.

Emilie is preceded in death by her dad, Dennis Sperl and brother Bentley Sperl. She is survived by her mom, Dorothy Bentley; siblings, Tammie, Donald (Tausha), Garnett (Mark), Summer (Dan) sista-cousin Kris (Pete), nephews and nieces; Chevelle, Versace, Kelsa (Wolf), Koren (Savannah), Kole (Sage), Klaire, Klay, Joshua (Mckayla), Kendra, Samantha, Micah, Jebediah, Alexis, Thomas, Cailynn, Kerra, and Archer.

We invite you to join us for Emilie's celebration of life at 5:00 p.m. on March 2nd at the Petersburg Sons of Norway Hall. Please bring a dish and join us for a potluck supper to follow.

In leu of flowers, condolence cards can be mailed to Dorothy and the family at PO Box 1676 Petersburg, AK 99833.


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