William Raymond Sparks was born Aug. 12, 1943, in Atlanta, Ill., the son of Ernest and Olivia (Scheitler) Sparks. Bill was raised on a farm near Le Mars and attended St. Mary's Catholic School in Remsen. Bill was united in marriage to Norma Leinen on Nov. 30, 1974, at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars.
As a young man, Bill attended auctioneering school and had worked as a Le Mars police officer. He later operated "The Garage" nightclub in Le Mars. Bill was a regional manager for Banker's Life and Causality Insurance Company for 30 years. In the 1980s, Bill established the Sparks Insurance Agency and Real Estate in Le Mars.
During retirement, Bill enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, gardening, fishing, and his dog Koko. Family was very important to Bill, he and Norma enjoyed having the children and grandchildren over to their home for barbecuing. He loved to visit with family and friends. Bill was known for his sense of humor and willingness to help those in need.
Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Norma of Le Mars; seven children: Angela Forde and Bill Sauer of Le Mars, Todd Sparks of Denver, Colo., Mark Gotto and his wife Elizabeth of Denver, Colo., Jason Gotto of Denver, Colo., Traci Sanow and her husband Tim of Ireton, Shelly Gotto Allen of Le Mars, and Tim Sparks and his wife Joanna of Denver, Colo.; 10 grandchildren: Brandi, Bailey, Mallie, Matthew, Alison, Jacob, Brittany, Cheyanne, Ava, and Eliana; a sister, Mary Delperdang and her husband Dan of Le Mars; a brother, Jim Sparks and his wife Marcia of Winterset; aunts and uncles: Caroline Scheitler and Dorothy and Bill Scheitler, all of Le Mars; several nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Olivia (Scheitler) Sparks; a sister in infancy, Shirley Sparks; and a nephew, Nathan Sparks.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Le Mars with the Rev. Kevin Richter officiating. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. Visitations will be after 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with a 4 p.m. parish rosary. The family will be present to greet friends after 5:30 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Scriptural wake service Wednesday evening at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Charlie Gebel, Chris Krogman, Benjamin Sparks, Cliff Pick, Bill Freking, and Scot Orban.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.