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Jerry Dane Sparks

Jerry Dane Sparks

Laurens, SC – Jerry Dane Sparks went to his heavenly home on April 22, 2020.  Jerry was born on April 8, 1939 in Dallas, Texas to the late Merrill Dane Sparks and Barbara Lee Bailey Sparks.  After graduating Dallas High School and Crozier Tech, he enlisted in the Army and served as an aircraft mechanic while stationed in Germany.  During his service, he was accepted to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point and attended the Military Academy Preparatory School.  After his military commitment, he continued his college education and graduated from The University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.

After graduating college, Jerry relocated to South Carolina and spent most of his professional career teaching vocational education at high schools in Laurens and Greenville Counties.  He took great joy and pride in teaching young people the skills of building construction, electrical and plumbing that could lead them to successful professional careers.  He retired from Golden Strip Career Center in Mauldin, SC, both respected and loved by his students and fellow teachers.

Jerry loved his Lord, his family, the outdoors, helping others and making people laugh.  He spent many cherished hours with family and friends fishing, boating and river tubing.  Even though his health would not allow him to enjoy these activities in his later years, he delighted in telling and “re-telling” his favorite stories of the many times he spent with family enjoying the outdoors.  His grandchildren and great grandchildren knew him as “Papa J”, the guy who teased them about eating “porcupine pie” and “chicken ripple ice cream” and greeted them with a big Texas “Well Howdy Do”.   This special man with the unique sense of humor will be dearly missed.

In addition to his parents, Jerry was predeceased by his beloved wife Dorothy Craig Sparks, brother Michael Sparks, stepfather Ray Murphy, great granddaughter Holland Grace Taylor and the remainder of his immediate family.  He is survived by his sons, Jason Sparks (Allison), John Sparks (Ashley), stepdaughters, Janice Holland (Scott), Sylvia Hicks, ten grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. 

The family would like to thank the nurses, nurses’ assistants and all the staff at Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Community, for their loving and compassionate care given to Jerry over the past four years.

A private graveside service will be held at Westview Memorial Park, Laurens, SC on Sunday April 26, 2020 at 2:30 PM, conducted by the Rev. Dr. Mike McCracken.  Memorials may be made to Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Community, 1 Martha Franks Drive, Laurens, SC  29360 or to the charity of your choice.  The Kennedy Mortuary, Laurens, SC is assisting the family and condolences can be made to the family at www.thekennedymortuary.com.

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Jerry was my first cousin, and I have many happy memories of him. We were a very close family, and got together often with our grandparents and the rest of our big family, as we grew up. Jerry was a big kidder and so much fun to be around. My husband Bill, really liked him too. I think they would've gone fishing and spent lots of time together, if Jerry hadn't moved to South Carolina. It sounds like Jerry was well loved by family there too. I remember him telling me, on the phone, how much he loved working with his students. I can picture him saying, "Well howdy do." and it brings a big smile to my face. My prayers go to Jason, John, and to Janice, Scott, and the rest of the family, who spent so much time going to see Jerry and checking on him. May he rest in peace.

Gloria Mitchell May 4 2020 12:00 AM

I was pleased to learn that Jerry was still a Presbyterian. I remember when we were teenagers, his family and mine went to First Presbyterian Church of Dallas .
A favorite memory of Jerry was when he took me to my Junior High orchestra banquet. I'm not sure if it was my mom or his who asked him to be my escort. I was too shy to have asked him myself, but I'm glad he agreed to do it. Family was always important to him.

Gloria Mitchell May 4 2020 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Jerry Sparks

Sandra Laws Apr 30 2020 12:00 AM

Dear friends, I was so sad to see where Jerry passed. He was a good man and touched many lives through his teaching skills. I worked for Jerry at different times in high school and he taught how to roof a house. I still remember that first house he and I did right off of Chestnut Street. Later, he would often come by my office and visit. He loved talking about his boys and what they were doing at that time. For years, he and Dot would come to our house in the country on Christmas Eve for a visit. Dot and Jerry were a big part of Momma and Daddy's lives when they were all younger . I can imagine Momma, Daddy, Dot and Jerry just laughing it up and enjoying heaven together. May God grant you his grace, mercy and peace as you walk through this season of life. God bless.

Grayson Thomas Apr 23 2020 12:00 AM

To Janice and other family members we wish for you many happy memories and God's constant and abiding presence during days of grief or loneliness. Helen & Russell Dean

russelldean@prtcnet.com Apr 23 2020 12:00 AM