This is a Message Board Post that is gatewayed to this mailing list.
Surnames: Sparks, Cook, Densley
Message Board URL:
Message Board Post:
Idaho State Journal, 11/06/12
KAYSVILLE, Utah - Donald (Donny) "J" Sparks passed away due to natural causes
at 88 years old at the home of his daughter, Penni, in Kaysville, Utah, on Friday, Nov. 2,
2012, at 9:40 a.m. He was born July 24, 1924 in Dingle, Idaho, the youngest of 10
children. One place he lived is the current location of the church, a building he later
helped build and maintain. His family was very close and never spoke a cross word.
Due to the death of his mother when he was 8, he learned independence at a very young
age, and learned to hunt, fish, and trap by following the footsteps of his brothers. He
put in a vegetable garden each year with his sister, Ellen, would sell vegetables by the
side of the road, and would trap and sell his furs to buy his own school clothes. By age
10 he had even earned enough to buy himself a Model "T" Ford.
He attended first grade in Cokeville, Wyo., then went to the old Dingle school until
eighth grade. Since high school was optional during the Great Depression, he chose to
work, and became quite a handyman.
At age 19, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, Jan. 17, 1944, just before the World War II
draft. He served on a dry dock ship in the Pacific, achieving the rank of Boatswain's
Mate 2nd Class, was awarded three medals, and was discharged April 28, 1946.
Donny earned and saved enough money (mostly from cutting hair and hemming dungarees in
the Navy during his non-duty time) to buy a house ($800 cash) in which he lived until his
death. Initially it just had three rooms, a coal stove, a pitcher pump and an outhouse.
Later, he would expand to include a bathroom, two more bedrooms, a utility room, an
enclosed porch, and a family room, with electricity, plumbing and a furnace.
He was known to give free "butch" haircuts to the neighborhood kids, would
hunt, trap, and make deer jerky. He taught himself to play the accordion, and was in a
band with Shurel Nate, playing for dances. His favorite music is Eddie Arnold.
He met Wanda at a dance in Border, Wyo., and they were married three months later,
Sept. 5, 1959, at his sister's home in Dingle (Ellen and Ted Humburg home); and gladly
he took on the responsibilities for her four children. They added two more children in
1960 and 1961.
He worked at Monsanto, was a farmhand, was self-employed as a carpenter, and was the
maintenance supervisor for the school district, when he retired. He maintained the Dingle
church and gym while Wanda was the custodian for many years. They were on a bowling league
together for years.
Donny continued trapping, hunting, and fishing (even ice fishing), cutting wood for his
wood stove, camping, and enjoying the outdoors well into his later years. He found joy in
raising a garden and making home repairs his whole life until a year ago.
Donny was preceded in death by his wife, Wanda Beth (Densley) Sparks, his parents,
George Hyrum and Myrtle Elizabeth (Cook) Sparks, his five brothers and four sisters, and
one grandson. He is survived by his children, Dennis Earl Dowding, Elwood Jay Dowding,
LaRee (Dowding) Nessen, Neal Dowding, Penni Daun (Sparks) Eads, and Donald George Sparks;
and by 25 grandchildren, 12 greatgrandchildren, and two greatgreat-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, 11 a.m., at the LDS Church, 4197
Dingle Road, Dingle, Idaho 83233. Viewing, 9 to 10:45 a.m. Family prayer, 10:45 a.m.
Interment, Dingle, Idaho Cemetery.
The author of this message may not be subscribed to this list. If you would like to reply
to them, please click on the Message Board URL link above and respond on the board.