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Albert Wesley "Al" Sparks Sr.


1930 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Albert Wesley "Al" Sparks Sr. Obituary
ALBERT "AL" WESLEY SPARKS SR. Age 85, of Hemet, California, passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at his home. A funeral service will be held at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church on April 4 at 10:30 a.m. A burial service with military funeral honors will take place at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92518 (951-653-8417) on April 4 at 12:45 p.m. at staging area 4. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Miller-Jones Mortuary. Al was born on July 30, 1930 in Los Angeles CA. to Lucille and Harry Sparks. Al married Mary Carolyn Wilbanks, Carol, on March 21, 1953. A devoted husband of 56 years and a loving father, he is survived by six of their seven children; Kathleen Sparks-McKinney, Terrence Sparks, Laura Sparks, Kelly Sparks, Albert W. Sparks Jr. and Jennifer Sparks-Bise. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Al was preceded in death by his mother Lucille Sparks; his father, Harry W. Sparks Sr.; his son, Harry W. Sparks; his wife, Mary Carolyn Sparks; brothers, Jack Sparks and Harry W. Sparks Jr.; and his grandson, Dylan W. McKinney. Al began his life long career as a fire fighter while serving in the Navy, during the Korean War, from 1951 to 1953. During his service he was stationed on aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea, which was stationed in the Yellow Sea close to North Korea. Al was something of a daredevil in his youth and enjoyed telling his children stories of diving off the deck of the aircraft carrier. After an honorable discharge from the Navy Al continued his career as a fireman. He first served with the Pasadena fire department from 1958-1960 and then the LA County fire department until his retirement in 1982. Al was very proud to have his sons carry on the family dedication to firefighting by working at LA County fire camps during high school. His oldest surviving son, Terry, also retired from the LA County Fire Department after 34 years. During retirement Al moved to Hemet where he, Carol and their youngest daughter, Jennifer enjoyed raising quarter horses.
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Published in Press-Enterprise on Mar. 30, 2016
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