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Dr. Hugh Cullen SPARKS


1946 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Dr.  Hugh Cullen SPARKS Obituary
SPARKS, Dr. Hugh Cullen
9/3/46 to 12/4/16

Born in Galveston, Hugh was the third of four sons born to Frank and Genevieve Sparks. He graduated from Pasadena High School and The University of Texas, where he received his Ph.D. in Music, and worked in the Music department for over 20 years. A music professional for 50 years, mostly in Austin, Texas, he was the owner of Hugh Sparks Musical Services and URSA Major Productions.

Music was not what he DID but who he WAS. He remembered as a toddler hearing a deceptive resolution of a secondary dominant and wanting to know what the heck that was. He taught, produced, engineered, performed (mostly bass and trombone), toured and truthfully made music his life.

Among the community of musicians in Austin, Hugh was a great friend among friends, a mentor of young musicians, and a popular side man in a wide array of musical styles. In his family and many circles of friends, he was a glue of love that kept the bonds strong.

Hugh was a member of Town and Gown, a board member of the Music Umbrella, and involved with the Austin Sister Cities program. He was an active member of Tarrytown United Methodist Church and his Emmaus Reunion group. Hugh played in numerous bands, including Tim Henderson and the Beltbuckle Band, Allen Damron, the Ladd Roberts Trio, the Austin Polka Band, Racing Aimless, Wilding, the Big Band Sound of Austin, Howard Levine and the Highlights, and Mike & Judy. Frequent venues included such places as Scholz Garden and the Kerrville Folk Festival.

Hugh loved adventure, long drives in the Southwest, Diet Coke, a wood-burning fire, and especially preparing home-cooked meals for family and friends. He will be remembered for his impeccable punctuality, photographic memory, ability to fix, explain and remember everything, his deep love for his family and devotion to his grandkids.

Hugh is survived by a son, Steve; a daughter, Elise and her husband John; eight grandchildren: Anthony, Cohl, Tyler, Milan, Rachel, Lawson, Morgan, and Ashton; his brothers: Rodney, Warren, and Wayne; and nieces, nephews, cousins, and hundreds of his closest personal friends.

If desired, donations in memory of Hugh may be made to the at www.diabetes.org or 1-800-DIABETES.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Dec. 11 to Dec. 12, 2016
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