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Donald B. Sparrow

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Donald B. Sparrow Obituary
Donald Baxter Sparrow, 92, died March 13, 2014. Born, raised, and retired in Eastham, he lived an active and engaged life. The son of Jenny Smith-Sparrow and Daniel Sparrow, Donald attended the one-room schoolhouse in Eastham followed by Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard at age 16, and MIT graduate school in Chemistry. He worked for Polaroid, Scott Paper Company, Johnson & Johnson, and 25 years as a consultant for Arthur D. Little, working in 40 countries. Retiring home to Cape Cod in 1982, he entered public service as an Eastham Library Trustee, chairman of their building committee, and President of the Eastham Historical Society. He was instrumental in changing Eastham's form of government--as chairman of the Eastham Charter Commission--from three full-time selectmen to professional management with a town administrator and part-time selectman. He then ran for selectmen and served three 2-year terms. After leaving political life, he started publishing his memoirs in "Growing Up On Cape Cod" as well as entering the lecture circuit about early Cape Cod life, rumrunners, and Cedar Banks Golf Course. He met his wife, Orleans native Reta Cummings, while working at Howards Johnsons in Orleans. They were married May 1944 until her death in May 1993 and had two sons, Robert and David. In 1995 he married Genevieve Galli, and they traveled widely. He became her primary caregiver when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's until she moved to an Alzheimer's facility. She predeceased him by just over one month. Survivors include son Robert Sparrow and his wife Marjorie of Orleans, their children Perry and his wife Erin of North Andover, MA, and Maya of Brooklyn, NY; son David Sparrow and his wife Marilyn of Chorleywood, UK, their children William and his wife Fern and their daughter, Lily of Chesham Bois, UK, and Robert and his wife Amy of London, UK. He is predeceased by two brothers Robert and Wilbur and is survived by brother Fenton and his wife Margot of Orleans and Florida. From cutting asparagus before school, camping for weeks on Coast Guard Beach, using the Windmill as a book-reading clubhouse in his early years to docent at the Windmill on the green and the Schoolhouse Museum, Honoree at Windmill Weekend, Turnip King, and most recently honorary chairman of the newest Eastham Library Building Committee Donald loved and cared about Eastham. He was most proud that his grandchildren were the 13th generation to attend school in Eastham. A celebration of Donald Sparrow's life will be planned for July and a notice will appear in the newspaper. Contributions can be made to the Eastham Library Building Fund P.O. Box 406 N. Eastham, 02651 or Hope Hospice 765 Attucks Lane, Hyannis, 02601. For online condolences, please visit www.nickersonfunerals.com

Published in The Cape Codder from Mar. 17 to Mar. 24, 2014
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