Lt. Colonel for USMC

AUBURNDALE - Donald R. Sparks, 80, Born in Wilmington, Delaware, September 26th, 1933, to the late Arthur J. and Hannah Gaventa Sparks.
In 1949, he moved to Auburndale from Penns Grove, New Jersey. He married Ina Jo Johnson, his Auburndale High School sweetheart. They both graduated in the Class of 1951 and recently celebrated their fifty-ninth wedding anniversary. He left his earthly home to be with his Lord on December 4th, 2013 due to renal failure.
In addition to Mrs. Sparks he is survived by his two loving daughters, Kathleen Jo (Vahe) and Sharon (Ron), grandsons, Matthew and Greg, and granddaughter Sarah (Derrick), and great- granddaughters Lilliana and Cayce.
Don retired from the US Marine Corps, as a Lt. Colonel. He served three tours of duty in Vietnam from 1959 to 1972. He taught at the US Army Armor School in Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was also the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Barracks in Newport, Rhode Island. Don was a highly decorated veteran, having received the Bronze Star with Combat "V", Presidential Unit Citation; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross with palm, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service.
Don's greatest joy was spending time with his family, especially his grandsons, granddaughter, and her children. His smile was never brighter than when he was surrounded by the many members of his large family. His wisdom and joy for life will be profoundly missed.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you remember Don's life with a contribution to Wounded Warriors, Toys for Tots, a veteran's organization, or a .
A memorial service is being held Saturday, December 7th, at First Baptist Church of Auburndale, on Main Street at 3:00 pm. Visitation with family and friends will follow in the Church Fellowship Hall.


Published in Ledger from Dec. 6 to Dec. 7, 2013