Virginia V. Sparling

Virginia V. Sparling

Of Indianapolis, passed away January 30, 2013, at the age of 93. Virginia served the Indianapolis banking industry for more than 30 years as secretary to the late Frank E. McKinney Sr., chairman of American Fletcher National Bank and past chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Virginia was born May 26, 1919, in Popcorn, Indiana, Lawrence County, to Clarence E. Sparling and Pearl Sparling of Osgood, Indiana. She was the oldest of three children, who included her brothers Keith E. Sparling and Ronald Sparling.

During her younger years, Virginia was a student at Butler University, but the true adventurer in her took her to Alaska. While there, she worked at a logging camp in Ketchikan. She attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and was one of three graduates in the class of 1945. Her picture is featured in the book The Farthest North College President by William R. Cashen. The book focused on university President Charles E. Bunnell and the early history of the University of Alaska.

While in Alaska, her friends included hard-boiled detective novelist Dashiell Hammett who was stationed in Alaska during World War II, and served as a correspondent. Hammett was the creator of the characters Sam Spade, The Thin Man and the Continental Op. She remained friends with Hammett after the war.

Known lovingly to her nieces and nephews as "Aunt Gigi," Virginia cherished her family. Memories include crisp two-dollar bills in birthday and holiday cards. She was a long time member of Tri Kappa and the second resident who moved into Riley Towers in 1963 where she lived for 48 years along with being a violinist with the Columbus Indiana Symphony. She loved crossword puzzles, a good martini, the Indiana Pacers and the Indianapolis 500.

Virginia was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Keith. She is survived by her brother Ronald Sparling, son Wesley Sparling; niece Jackie (late husband Michael) Christensen, Anchorage, AK; niece Donna (husband Martin) Flegel, Cocoa, FL; great-niece Karrie (husband David) Hieber and their children: son Ethan Loose and daughter Victoria Scarborough, all of Cocoa, FL; niece Leslie (husband William) Tyler, and their children son Jamie Tyler and daughter Krista Tyler; Krista's children Haylee Tyler, Blake Tyler, Logan Tyler and Nolan Tyler, all of McDonough, GA; nephew William Sparling; nephew David (wife Misty) Sparling and son Scott Sparling.

Memorial gifts can be made to the donor's choice. There will be private family services. Arrangements by: Neal's Funeral Home , Osgood, IN.

Funeral Home

Neal's Funeral Home
306 S Walnut Street Osgood, IN 47037
(812) 689-4262

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Feb. 28, 2013