The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 29, 2013

Jerry Sparks

The Joplin Globe


Jerry Paul Sparks, 75, of Frontenac, Kan., passed away at 5:45 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, at the Via Christi Village in Pittsburg.

He was born June 26, 1937, the son of Fannin Franklin and Willis Irene (Harden) Sparks at Sand Springs, Okla. He graduated from Connors Community College. He then received his Bachelor's of Science and Master's degree in Counseling from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla. Later he received his Specialist degree in School Administration from Pittsburg State University.

On July 5, 1969, he was united in marriage to Rozanne Fite, at Springfield, Mo. She survives at the family home.

Mr. Sparks began his career in education as a teacher in Pineville, Mo. for three years, then at Metz, Mo. for 12 years. He then moved to the Bronaugh, Mo. school system and retired in 1996, after 20 years served as principal and then superintendent. After a short vacation, he returned to education as a counselor for 13 years at McCauley Catholic High School in Joplin, until he retired four years ago. Mr. Sparks enjoyed his career in education for 48 years.

Membership was held in Bronaugh Christian Church, where he was very active and served as the Sunday school superintendent. He was a member of the Missouri State Teacher's Association, Missouri Retired Teacher's Association and the Southwest District Missouri Association of School Administrators. He also enjoyed serving on several community organizations while living in Vernon County.

In addition to his wife, Rozanne, he is survived by a son, Paul Sparks and his wife, Angela, of Frontenac; a brother, Ray Douglas Sparks, of Sallisaw, Okla.; two grandchildren, Randa Kate and Jonah Paul Sparks; two sisters-in-law, Donna Johnson, of Kansas City, Mo., and Emmy Fite, of Pittsburg; and a brother-in-law, Johnny Fite, of Ozark, Mo.; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Wayne Reber Sparks; and a sister, Ruth Sparks Philpot.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the Presbyterian Church in Pittsburg, with Rev. Dan Moss and Rev. K.O. Noonoo officiating. Interment will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the Dadeville Masonic Cemetery in Dadeville, Mo. Friends may call from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Brenner Mortuary.

The family suggest memorials to: the Bronaugh Community Schools Scholarship Fund; the Fite Family Scholarship at Dadeville schools; the McAuley Catholic High School Scholarship Fund; or Via Christi Village. These may be left at or mailed to Brenner Mortuary, 114 East 4th Street, Pittsburg, KS  66762.

Friends may also leave condolences online at

Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary, Pittsburg.