James Lee Sparks, 76, of Granite City, passed away at 9:24 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2015, at Granite Nursing and Rehabilitation in Granite City.
He was born Dec. 7, 1938, in Edwardsville, a son of the late Walter C. and Laverna G. (Johnson) Sparks. He married Carolyn Kay (Chowning) Sparks on April 15, 1962, in Granite City and she survives.
James was the owner and operator of D&J Garage in Granite City and had later worked for Weber Chevrolet after closing his garage. The United States Army veteran proudly served his country as a paratrooper. He enjoyed his days of hunting, fishing and racing cars.
In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by four children, Brian, and wife, Beth Sparks, Julia Sparks-Becker, Jimmy Sparks and fiancée, Becky, and Rhonda and husband, Paul Cuvar, all of Granite City; grandchildren, Brandon, Brandi, Jourdan, Jacob, Matthew, Macie, Braden, Kelly, Michael and Phillip; several great-grandchildren; other extended family and friends. In addition to his beloved parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Katherine Miller.
In celebration of his life, a memorial visitation will be from 5 p.m. until time of service with full military honors at 7 p.m. Friday, March 27, 2015, at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City. Burial will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. Memorials may be made to the family and may be accepted at the funeral home, www.irwinchapel.com.