The Commerce Journal


February 7, 2008

Obituaries for Feb. 7, 2008

Col. William Sparkman Jr.

Col. William A. Sparkman Jr., 91, of Commerce died Jan. 29, 2008, at Presbyterian Hospital of Commerce. A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the chapel of Jones-Walker & Son Funeral Home in Commerce with Brother David Gibson officiating. Burial followed in Rosemound Cemetery with full military honors.

Son of William Arvell and Kathrine Sparkman, he was born Sept. 8, 1916, in Sulphur Springs. On June 9, 1939, he married Rae Sawyer.

He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps on Oct. 15, 1942, and was released from active duty in January 1946. He then joined the Marine Reserves at Naval Air Station, Dallas, and formed Marine Air Control Squadron 20; he was commanding officer at various times for 12 years. The squadron was called to active duty in September 1950 for the Korean War. Col. Sparkman retired from the Marine Corps in July 1972.

He became an assistant professor of physics at Texas A&M; University-Commerce and retired in December 1979 with 30 years of service. He was a lifetime member of Odd Fellows Lodge 234, Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association, Military Officers Association of America, Reserve Officers Association and the American Legion.

Col. Sparkman is survived by a son, Billy Ray Sparkman and wife Sheila of Grapevine, and a brother, Arlon Aubrey Sparkman of Broomfield, Colo.

He was preceded in death by his wife; his father; his mother, Kathrine Sparkman McMinn; a stepfather, Fred McMinn; daughter Betty Elaine Sparkman Shepherd; and a brother, John Charles Sparkman.

Honorary pallbearers were Raymond Bell, James White, John Biggerstaff, Joe Hawkins, Dr. Charles Rogers and members of the Military Officers Association of America.

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Kenneth Tucker

Kenneth Paul Tucker, 66, of Commerce died Feb. 3, 2008, at Presbyterian Hospital of Commerce. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. Jones-Walker & Son Funeral Home of Commerce is in charge of arrangements.

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