Celebrating the life of Gus Sponberg

Gus Sponberg

A service of celebration in thanksgiving for the life of Arvid F. "Gus" Sponberg is planned at the Chapel for 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

Arvid F. “Gus” Sponberg, age 68, of Valparaiso passed away suddenly August 6th, 2013 at his home.  He was born November 8, 1944 in Minneapolis MN to Harold and Grace Sponberg. 

Gus taught in the English Department at Valparaiso University since 1972, where he was active in multiple aspects of university life.  His publications included two books: Broadway Talks: What Professionals Think About Commercial Theater in America, and A.R. Gurney: A Casebook.  He also researched the rise of nonprofit professional Theater in Chicago with the creation of the Chicago Theater History Project.  The first ever symposium devoted solely to the history of Chicago theater, "Sustaining Theater: Past, Present, Future," occurred in May of 2011.  Renown for his humorous, insightful, and gracious, personality, it never found more apt outlets than in his classrooms, with his family, and with his friends and colleagues.  He found as much joy vacationing every summer in Marquette, MI, located in Michigan’s upper peninsula on the shore of Lake Superior.  Gus’s spirit found infinite comfort and peace in the mysteries of the Lutheran faith and family.

On August 5, 1972 he married Bonnie Bowsman who survives along with their children:  John Sponberg of Crown Point and Erica Sponberg of Valparaiso, siblings: Mary (John) Pedley of Ann Arbor, MI, Eric (Arliss Ryan) Sponberg of St. Augustine, FL, Ingrid (William) Stafford of Evanston, IL, and Karl (Barbara Quick) Sponberg of Bellingham, WA.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

Gus was educated in the Lansing and the Marquette Michigan public schools, Augustana  College in Rock Island, Il, (B.A. English), University of Chicago (M.A. English) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D. English). 

Gus’s father, Dr. Harold Sponberg was President at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas and at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Following the memorial service, a reception will be held at the community room at the Christopher Center.

If you are so inclined you may donate to those causes close to Gus’s heart:  The Cedar Tree Institute, Christ Lutheran Church, The Chicago Theatre History Project, and Valparaiso University.