In loving memory of

Joseph W. Sparks
September 21, 1929 - June 26, 2020

Joseph W. Sparks, age 90 of Prairie City, passed away on Friday, June 26, 2020 at MercyOne in Des Moines. A small family memorial was held for Joe on Thursday, July 2, 2020. We saw a wild turkey and a deer. Dad would have loved that. When this world settles down and it is safe for all of our family and friends, we will have a picnic in his honor with lots of good food and stories. Condolences may be left for the family at

The son of Lowell Dorr and Lucille Ann (Alspaugh) Sparks, Joe was born on September 21, 1929, in West Plains, Missouri. On March 24, 1952, he was united in marriage to Leora Lucille Furnoy. He proudly served in the United States Army. Joe worked for the United States Postal Service for 32 years. Joe enjoyed hunting, fishing, cooking (which he was famous for), golf and golf trips.

Those left to honor his memory include two daughters, Patricia Toal and husband Keith and Janet Van Kley and husband Jamie; grandchildren, Erik Newlin, Christopher Braunschweig and fiancé Elizabeth, Danielle Sherwood; two great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara Jennings and husband Duane, Marjorie Scharnhorst and husband Wayne Norma DeReus; and cousin Jackie Walker and husband Frank. Preceding Joe in death were his parents, his wife Leora, and brothers Dorr and Kyle.

Erik and I would like to thank everyone for all of their kind words, phone calls, cards, food, flowers and support. It was truly helpful.


Janet Leigh VanKley wrote on Jul 2, 2020:

"To my Dad Joe Sparks: Unfortunately we knew this day would come, you had a good 90 years, you had a good run. Although you will be missed this is sad but true, but we know in r hearts your re-United w mom this was her dream come true. Many things will be missed : Your stories, your pies, Your soups, and biscuits and Gravy, Just to name a few.....BUT everyone would agree the most who will be missed, is You!! Dad, they told me to keep it short, So All of standing with me here today, Please remember..... Goodbye?s are not forever, Goodbyes are Not the End, They simply mean we will ALL miss you and you will remain in are hearts , until we meet again. "

Dan Kuecker wrote on Jun 28, 2020:

"Joe was such a good man. Always happy and boy -a heck of a golfer! When I moved to PC he was so welcoming!"

Kenny Steenhoek wrote on Jun 28, 2020:

"Great friend. Many memories golfing hunting and just simply sitting and talking. Joe never had a cross word for anyone. Joe made the best apple pie and fried chicken. "

Lora Kain wrote on Jun 28, 2020:

"Joe such a great man. I always enjoyed visiting not only at the post office but in other settings. His gentle personality and big smile made everyone really appreciate the great man he truly was! Your family was truly blessed!???"