Lester ‘Les’ W. Sparks

FAIRMONT – Funeral services for Lester “Les” W. Sparks, 94, of Fairmont, Minn., will be 11a.m. Tuesday, July 9, 2013, at United Methodist Church in Fairmont. Burial will be following the service in Lakeside Cemetery in Fairmont, with full military honors by the Lee C. Prentice American Legion Post 36 and the Martin County VFW Post 1222.

Les passed away Wednesday morning, July 3, 2013, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Home in Blue Earth, Minn. Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. Monday, July 8, 2013, with a Masonic service held at 6 p.m. by the Chain Lake Masonic Lodge 64 AM and AF.

Lakeview Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Fairmont is assisting the family with arrangements.

Lester “Les” Willard Sparks was born March 28, 1919, in Lakefield, Minn., the son of Arthur and Lena (Larson) Sparks. Les grew up in Lakefield and attended Lakefield Schools, graduating in 1937. Following his graduation, Les worked various jobs in Lakefield before entering the U.S. Army in 1942, and serving in the 3rd Army Corp, 150th Signal Corp, 10th Armored Division under General George Patton. His service to his country took him overseas during World War II in the European, African and Middle Eastern theatres, and he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Upon receiving his honorable discharge in April 1946, Les returned to Minnesota and, on May 29, 1949, Les was united in marriage to Patricia Nessett at the Winnebago Methodist Church in Winnebago, Minn. Together, the couple made their home in Fairmont, where they were blessed with three children: Tom, Richard and Jeffrey. Les worked for Fairmont Railway Motors and then managed the Winzenburg Elevator until 1952. In 1952, Les began working for Russell’s TV and Radio Repair. In 1956, Les opened his own TV and radio repair shop and worked until his retirement in 1982. In his spare time, Les enjoyed golfing, listening to Big Band music and playing cards. He was Boy Scout leader from 1960 to 1963, and was also an active member of the Chain Lake Masonic Lodge 64. Les was also a member of the Fairmont United Methodist Church and the D.A.V (Disabled American Veterans). Les was an avid outdoorsman and looked forward to deer hunting, duck hunting and fishing. In his later years, he enjoyed the precision of bow hunting for deer. During one of Les’ many trips on the local lakes ice fishing, he even managed to save a young boy who had fallen through the ice. Faith was an important part of Les’ life and he showed his dedication to the church by many years as an usher, volunteering for countless committees and activities, singing in the church choir, and also volunteering to deliver the taped sermons of services to those who were shut-ins and unable to make it to Sunday services.

Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Patricia Sparks of Fairmont, Minn.; sons, Tom Sparks and his wife, Linda, of Fairmont, Minn., Richard Sparks and his wife, Tamara, of Kansas City, Kan., and Jeffrey Sparks of Fairmont, Minn.; four grandchildren, Jay Sparks and his wife, Kira, of Bloomington, Minn., Kristy Peterson and her husband, Philip, of St. James, Minn., Kathryn Sparks of Kansas City, Kan., and Nathan Sparks of Kansas City, Kan.; two great-grandchildren, Rylie Peterson and Hayden Peterson; as well as many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Les was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Lena Sparks; five sisters, Florence, Ruth, Lucille, Mary and Beulah; seven brothers, Stacey, Roscoe “Ross,” Clarence, Arthur, Eugene, LeRoy and John “Jack”; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Arthur and Grace Nessett.

The family requests memorials be given in Les’ name to the D.A.V (Disabled American Veterans), Fairmont United Methodist Church or Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center.