Obituary of Jim S. Sparks
James S. Sparks
12/5/1931 - 2/13/2023
Jim Sparks, beloved brother, husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, passed away unexpectedly on February 13, 2023, at the age of 91.
Jim, born the middle child of Clifford and Catherine Sparks in Paonia, Colorado loved the outdoors and regularly returned to the Western Slope for hunting and fishing. One of his favorite celebrations was the Fourth of July Cherry Days. His family said his voice changed to a country drawl as he drove over McClure Pass and approached Paonia.
He grew up during World War II and developed a strong sense of patriotism and duty. After completing his first year at Mesa College in Grand Junction, he joined the Navy and served as an Engineman for four years during the Korean War. He was proud of his service and remained active in a variety of veterans organizations throughout his life.
Motivated by his experiences in the Navy, Jim became interested in becoming a plumber. After completing his apprenticeship and working in the field for five years, he was named the first coordinator of the plumber’s apprenticeship program in Denver. He was successful and spent the next 30 years in this role. He developed a reputation as a natural teacher and to this day, plumbers from across the front range have fond memories and are quick to acknowledge the impact Jim had on them both personally and professionally. Ultimately, the plumbers’ union recognized Jim for his leadership at the local, state, and national levels.
As accomplished as he was in his professional life, he was even more successful in his personal life. Jim and Jan had three children and as a parent, he instilled the values of integrity, high expectations and love of family. His grandchildren were the delight of his life. He didn’t miss one of their athletic or musical events. Jim was always playing on the floor with the little ones even at the age of 91.
He had friends everywhere and it was said that he never met a stranger. He was a great neighbor and served in a variety of positions on the various boards and committees of Gate ‘N’ Green. He enjoyed helping with social events like the Pancake Breakfast. He was also just as happy to help neighbors with their house projects or clearing snow off the sidewalks throughout the neighborhood.
Jim and Jan loved to travel. They went on many adventures during their 67 years of marriage. There were road trips to visit family and explore national parks, cruises, beach trips with his grandkids, and even a recent trip to Europe.
Jim spent his retirement years golfing, woodworking, and actively volunteering throughout the city of Broomfield. He supported efforts at the Veterans Museum, Senior Center, Meals on Wheels, and Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, but his favorite place to spend time was the Broomfield Wood Shop. It was the place he went to learn and create, to teach and mentor, and simply spend time with friends. He was considered a gifted woodworker and many of his beautiful woodworking creations were donated to local Broomfield organizations where they became a prominent source of fundraising. Jim was honored in 2019 when he received the Heart of Broomfield Award and again that same year when he and Jan were named the Grand Marshals of the Broomfield Days Parade.
Jim Sparks is the definition of a life well lived - he gave life his all in everything he did. He was successful in his career, made a difference for others with his volunteer work, and served as an incredible role model for his family.
He will be missed.
Jim Sparks is survived by his wife of 67 years, Jan, and his three children Brenda (Jim), Susan (Tom), and Kevin (Linda), and grandchildren Kristy (Shamus), Jimmie (Lynette), David, Ryan, Mary, Ali, and great grandchildren Alexis, Bradley, JJ and Mac, all of whom he was immensely proud. Additionally, he is survived by his sisters Margaret Wood of Newton, Iowa, Thelma Moats of Cedarcreek, Texas, and many nieces and nephews.
A Service will be held at Holy Comforter on Friday, February 24, 2023 at 10:00 AM. 1700 West 10th Avenue, Broomfield, CO 80020.