William SPARKS

William Sparks

LINCOLN - William Sparks, 69, of New Holland, passed away at 4:04 p.m. on Sunday, June 9, 2013, at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.

Funeral Services will be at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 13, at Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home, Lincoln, with Bro. Tim Schnautz officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at the funeral home.

Burial will be at 1 p.m., Thursday, June 13, at Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, Ill., with full military rites by Camp Butler Honor Guard.

Bill was born in Taylorville, Illinois, April 8, 1944, the son of Thomas Alfred (Pete) and Dorothy Marie Dugan Sparks. His paternal grandparents were Jesse Edward and Bessie Florence Logan Sparks. His maternal grandparents were John and Bertha Anna Dady Dugan. They preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife, Karen Owens Sparks of New Holland; his children, Candra (Bill Best) Boulb of Lincoln, Jessica Eddings (J J Diesi) of Springfield, Susie Kiel of Madison, Ind., Jeremiah (Kim Brainard) Nelson of Cedar Rapids, Ia., and David (Kristen) Runyon of Charleston; grandchildren, Zach and Caleb Boulb of Lincoln, Jay, Haleigh and Evan Eddings of Springfield, Chelsea and Haley Caplinger-Kiel, David Lee Gehrke of Madison, Ind., and Dalton and Noah Runyon of Charleston; great-grandchildren, Alicia Keller and Dayton Bolton.

Bill is also survived by three brothers and four sisters, Donna Hutchison, (the late Dennis Hutchison), Nancy (Gus) Otto, Robert Sparks, and Thomas (Ruth Anne) Sparks, all of Lincoln, Gary (Ken Solem) Sparks of Bloomington, Patricia (Brett Simpson) Sparks of New Holland, and Rita (Howie) Coffey of Petersburg. He is survived by one brother-in-law, Robert Bruce (Fran) Owens of Marion, Ind., his sisters-in-law, Janet (Mike) Buttitta of Bloomington, and Patricia Ramsey Sparks of Middletown; and his father-in-law Robert Owens, New Holland. Bill was preceded in death by one brother, Gerald Sparks, his mother-in-law, Oka Owens, and his brother-in-law, Dennis (Gator) Hutchison, one niece, one great-niece and one great-great- niece. Many nieces and nephews also survive.

He leaves behind on this journey his beloved dogs Buster and Tela.

Bill was honored to be a veteran of the United States Army and the Vietnam War. He served in Vietnam between 1968 and 1969 as a Sergeant in the 1st Calvary Division. He received the Purple Heart and several other medals including the Bronze Star Medal.

Bill retired from Logan- Mason Mental Heath in 2003 after 24 years of service. A recovering alcoholic himself, he was proud to have overcome his disease and use his faith in God, life experiences, and training to serve the community and help others overcome the disabling effects of alcohol and drugs.

An avid camper, he enjoyed the outdoors and fishing. He loved spending time with his wife, Karen, family and friends at his home away from home at his campground near Petersburg, Ill. He enjoyed eating at the Cracker Barrel and Bonanza on Friday nights with his father-in-law and seeing and speaking with friends and family. Bill loved the St. Louis Cardinals and attended his first game on his first anniversary with Karen. Bill will be missed by all family and friends.

Memorials may be given to the or the Veteran's Hospital, Indianapolis, Ind.

Funeral Home

Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home
127 South Logan Street Lincoln, IL 62656
(217) 732-4155

Published in The Lincoln Courier on June 11, 2013