J.W. Sparkman, former resident
James William “J.W.” Sparkman, 82, a resident of Bell, Florida, died Friday afternoon at Memorial Hospital of Jacksonville. A native and longtime resident of Baker County, Mr. Sparkman had been a resident of Bell for the past six years, having moved there from Waccasassa, Florida. He was the son of the late Ralph Franklin Sparkman Sr. and Lillie Mae Garrett Sparkman.
Mr. Sparkman served in the United States Navy for three and a half years and was stationed on the USS Leyte for more than two years in the Korean War. He then began working as an aide at Northeast Florida State Hospital in Macclenny, a position he held for ten years prior to working at Florida Wire and Cable, in Sanderson as a mechanic for more than twenty years.
Following his retirement, Mr. Sparkman enjoyed honing his woodworking hobby. He was known for his extremely “precise” finishing carpentry work. Mr. Sparkman was preceded in death by his brother Ralph Franklin Sparkman Jr. He was a member of the Ichetucknee River Baptist Church.
Mr. Sparkman is survived by his wife of six years, Jennett Sparkman; sons Larry Wayne Sparkman of Trenton, Wesley Sheffield of Fort White, Jack Sheffield of Keystone Heights, Stephen Sheffield of Bell and Bryan Sheffield of Macclenny; daughters Karen Smith of Trenton, Kim Sheffield of Fort White, Patty Williams of Worthington Springs and Wanda Cason of Lake Butler; sisters Annie Mae Barton of Macclenny and Corine Barton of Sanderson; twenty-two grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.
The funeral service for Mr. Sparkman was conducted at 11:00 am on Wednesday, June 29 at his church with Pastor Chris Hall officiating. A private family interment service followed in the Jacksonville National Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of the Dees-Parrish Family Funeral Home, Lake City.