Sporakowski, Michael

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Michael Sporakowski left this world on June 9, 2023, to tee off on the celestial fairways where he can once again play golf with his departed friends and family and hopefully play a few hands of poker in the clubhouse.

He is survived by his wife Judy of 59 years and his two daughters, Karen Sporakowski and Laura Lawson; his two sons-in-law, John Vile and Bob Palmer; his brother-in-law and wife, John and Shaun Garrett; and cousins and numerous friends.

After getting degrees at Penn State and Florida State University and doing his postdoc at the University of Minnesota, Mike worked briefly at the University of Illinois before arriving at Virginia Tech in 1970. He worked there until 2003 and was a professor and eventually department head in the department of Family and Child Development. He taught many classes, did extension work, was a marriage counselor, and was the president of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). He was also the editor for the journal of NCFR for a number of years.

Mike was a lifelong avid golfer who started playing early and was on golf teams by the time he was in high school and college. He tried to share his love of the sport by teaching his wife and daughters to play but they lacked his talent and enthusiasm. Fortunately, Blacksburg provided many golf-playing friends and Mike was able to finish his career at Virginia Tech teaching golf to students who he lamented never quite learned to dress appropriately for the sport.

Beyond golf, Mike had many interests and passions, including community service, animal rescue, church, marksmanship in the senior Olympics, and more, all of which benefited from his time and generosity. His good will and kindness will be sorely missed.
His funeral service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Blacksburg on Saturday, June 24 at 11 am (https://www.christchurchblacksburg.org/).

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to one of Mike’s favorite charities such as the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation (https://www.brpfoundation.org/) or Best Friends Animal Society (https://bestfriends.org/), or the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad (https://www.blacksburgrescue.org/).