KIRKLAND – Eugene "Gene" Joseph Sparrow, 67, formerly of Kirkland, Ill., passed away peacefully at 1:13 a.m. Friday, June 14, 2013.
Born April 7, 1946, in Detroit, he was the son of Guy and Winnifred Sparrow, who then relocated to Kirkland to work at a family business, Brennan Cattle Company.
Gene attended K-12 at Kirkland Hiawatha, attended St. Ambrose in Davenport, Iowa, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1969 and was honorably discharged. He married Kathleen L. Sabin of Sycamore on Jan. 23, 1971 and continued to live in Kirkland where he operated the Carrousel drive-in, served on the Village Board four years and continued to work in the political arena until present.
He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention twice, precinct committeeman and Democratic Chairman. He conducted campaigns at federal, state and local levels.
Gene was the ultimate humanitarian who loved his hometown. To many, he was a "larger than life" character who played a major role in their lives. In 1996 he organized and raised funding to feed flood victims of the Kirkland mobile home park for several months. His brother Guy was his inspiration to organize and erect (with donations and labor intensive work from many) the beautiful Northern Illinois Veterans Memorial in his beloved town.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy; and two children, Andrew and Erin Sparrow, both of Delray Beach, Fla.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, June 21, at St. Catherine of Genoa Catholic Church, with Mass celebrated by the Rev. Ahles, followed by a 21 gun salute at a memorial in Kirkland Park and a luncheon/"Irish Wake." Dress casual. Locals can bring chairs as in typical Gene fashion this celebration of his life will go from 12:30 p.m. until ?
Published in Daily Chronicle on June 19, 2013