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Joseph Robert Sparks

December 12, 1936 — February 9, 2020

Joseph Robert Sparks

Joseph Robert Sparks, 83, passed from this life on February 9, 2020 in Cleveland, Oklahoma. Born on December 12, 1936 in Jennings, Oklahoma, Joe is the son of James Thomas and Mamie (Jones) Sparks. Growing up in Jennings, Oklahoma, Joe attended Jennings Schools, and was the Valedictorian for the class of 1955. After graduation, Joe accepted employment with National Tank Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1958, Joe joined the United States Air Force. Stationed at Lowery Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado, Joe served there four years. Upon his discharge, Joe moved back to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and gained employment with Spartan School of Aeronautics as an instructor. Later, he worked for North American Rockwell. Returning to Cleveland, Joe then founded Key Real Estate and also started KRECO construction company, building homes in the Crestview, Woodland Hills, and Rock Ridge Housing additions. Joe was active in the Cleveland rotary club and chamber of commerce at the time. Among other ventures, he owned a donut shop in Broken Arrow and started a crating company in Tulsa. In the early 1980s, Joe returned to the aviation industry accepting employment with Rockwell International which later was acquired by Boeing. Joe then did a short stint with AV Parts in Tulsa before he fully retired.

One of Joe’s most memorable moments was when he met John F. Kennedy while stationed at Lowery Air Force Base. Joe enjoyed visiting Arizona, especially the Grand Canyon, as well as basking in the nature around him. Joe is described as a history buff. The Hickory House was his favorite place to eat, but he also enjoyed Katy’s, Ward’s and Judy Ann’s.

Survivors include three children Christopher R. Sparks, USAF, MSgt Ret. , Roberta A. St. Peter, USAF, MSgt. Ret. of Huntsville, Alabama, Michael Sparks and his wife Candace of Cleveland, Oklahoma, Derek Sparks and his wife Laura of Edmonds, Washington; sister Joan Brady and her husband Jerry of Jennings, Oklahoma; fourteen grandchildren; five great grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends. Joe is preceded in death by his parents James and Mamie Sparks; eight brothers Lester Sparks, Clarence Sparks, Clyde Sparks, Glen Sparks, Ken Sparks, Dale Sparks, Doug Sparks and Orville Sparks; and one sister Minnie B. Vantrees.

Following his cremation, a memorial service for Joe will be held Friday, February 14, 2020, at 10:30 AM at the Community Pentecostal Holiness Church outside Cleveland, Oklahoma. Pam Buzzard will officiate the service. Services are under the direction of Chapman-Black Funeral Home in Cleveland, Oklahoma. An online guestbook is available at

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© 2019 (Chapman-Black Funeral Home, Inc.)

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Past Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, February 14, 2020

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Community Pentecostal Church

, Cleveland, OK 74020

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