Sparky was born on December 26, 1915 to Albert and Julia (Jennings) Allen in Eastsound, WA. He was raised on Orcas Island, attended school and graduated with the class of 1933.
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Following graduation Sparky joined the Civilian Conservation Corp. During this time he worked at Deception Pass helping to construct the guard rails that can still be seen today. From here he continued on to Alaska where he helped with the building of air fields for the war. At this time he joined the Army becoming part of the Army Corps of Engineers.
After serving in the Army during World War II he returned home and met his future bride, Jean Vilwock. Sparky and Jean were married on September 28, 1946 and enjoyed 58 years of marriage before her death on September 10, 2004. They lived on Orcas Island during the early years of their marriage. While there, their son Christopher and daughter Marcia were born. In 1951 the family moved to the Clear Lake area where Sparky had resided ever since.
A hard-working man with a strong work ethic, he had a wide range of jobs during his lifetime but the majority of his life's work was spent running heavy equipment. Sparky retired at the age of 74. He was a 50-year member of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Sparky and Jean enjoyed many trips to Europe in their retirement. They also belonged to the Grange and the Skagit Rovers, a camping group. Their property at Lake Tyee was another favorite destination where Sparky could pursue his love of fishing.
Sparky continued to live independently throughout his long life of 97 years. He had a passion for life which included telling a good story and enjoying many a good buffet! We will miss his ready smile and his ability never to meet a stranger.
Sparky was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Julia Allen, his wife Jean Allen, his brother's Newman and Karl, his sister Agnes, and his good friend Edith Whoolery of Mount Vernon.
Sparky is survived by his son Christopher (Judy) Allen of Mount Vernon, and his daughter Marcia (Talaileva) Seumae of Seattle; his grandchildren: Alisha (Miguel) Ortiz of Mount Vernon, Anthony Allen of Honolulu, HI, Nathan (Brita) Allen, Scott (Hollie) Seumae, and Samuel (Allison) Seumae, all of the Seattle area; great-grandchildren: Isabella Seumae of Seattle, and Sofia and Lucas Ortiz of Mount Vernon. He is also survived by a sister-in-law Doris Allen of California.
Please join us for an informal gathering, with cake and coffee, to remember Sparky on Saturday, January 19, 2013, 2:00PM to 4:00PM, Clear Lake Community Covenant Church, 12605 State Route 9, Clear Lake, WA.
Memorials may be made to the following groups: Meals of Wheels, 390 South 3rd St., Mount Vernon, WA 98273; Skagit Historical Museum, PO Box 818, Mount Vernon, WA 98273.
Please share your thoughts of Sparky and sign the online guest register at www.hawthornefh.com.
Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Jan. 15, 2013