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Joseph Sparkman (3-31-21) service 6-26-21

Never one to seek recognition or accolades, Joseph Maurice “Sparky” Sparkman quietly departed this temporal life on Wednesday, March 31. He entered into his heavenly mansion at 85 years of age. For those who knew him, know he entered with his gentle smile and the same witty jokes he had been telling for years.
Without seeking any share of the public limelight, Sparky’s private actions spoke volumes. He was always the first to volunteer for a cause greater than himself, whether for his beloved Counce First Baptist Church; Boy or Girl Scouts, Hillcrest/SBEC/Highland Hundred booster clubs; or various other community endeavors. Sparky was never once too busy or too good to help. He was always the willing host and cherished spending time with others. He would give anything he possessed without any expectation of return. Somehow countless anonymous donations were received after he became aware that a child could not afford to attend camp or a worthy cause had a pressing need.
“Maurice” was born in Somerville, Tennessee, to Joe Thurmon Sparkman and Clara Jacobs Sparkman. He graduated from Fayette County High School in 1954 where he was voted most athletic and friendliest boy. He played football at Northwest Mississippi Community College. “Joe” was honorably discharged from the TN Army National Guard and Army Reserve in 1986 as a Major after serving for 30 years. Sparky retired from MLG&W in 1987 after 31 years. He concluded his paid employment in 2005 after appraising real estate for 16 years. He spent the majority of his retirement years living in Counce. Jokingly, Sparky claimed he worked harder after he finally retired than he ever did when he was employed.
Sparky enjoyed traveling by car, hunting and boating on Pickwick Lake, where he never passed on an opportunity to teach someone to water ski. Sparky attended countless athletic contests, where he found players who were not as talented but who gave one hundred percent being the most fun to watch. Sparky spend many hours in his garage fixing things which were not actually broken.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 32 years, Celia Sparkman.
Sparky was survived by his wife of 24 years, Ada Carpenter Sparkman; three children, Roger Sparkman, Jana Duplantis and her husband Barry and Rick Sparkman and his wife Terri; five grandchildren, Brent Johnson, Samantha DuPlantis, Matthew DuPlantis and his wife Dominique, Joseph Sparkman III and his wife Taylor, and Andrea Sparkman; three great-grandchildren, Blaine Johnson, Lola Johnson and Dominica DuPlantis; two stepchildren, Suzanne White and her husband Mark and Emily Bell and her husband Andy; and six step grandsons, Max, Reid, Graham and Jake Kilpper, and Rhodes and Luke Bell.
In his typical selfless manner, Sparky donated his body to science through Meri/Genesis.
A celebration of life service is scheduled for Saturday, June 26, at Counce First Baptist Church with visitation at 2:30 p.m. with the service beginning at 4 p.m. Sparky requested the gathering be only of good cheer as all could rest assured of his final destination. Sparky further requested only an American flag being displayed and, in lieu of flowers, any desired donation be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.