Derril Clair Sparks passed away September 12, 2009 after losing his battle with cancer. Derril was born July 5, 1932 to Lawrence Clair Sparks and Gail Burke Sparks. He was the first of three sons. He grew up in Woodville Idaho. He attended Taysom School in Woodville for 6 years. He then attended 8
and 9th grade at the Goodsell School in Shelley. He attended 9
grade at Shelley High School where he was involved in football and boxing. He graduated from High School in1950. He attended the University of Idaho and later Idaho State University where he studied engineering. He earned his Eagle Scout rank at the age of 16.
On August 2, 1951 he married Karen Elkington in the Idaho Falls Temple. They were married for almost 58 years when Karen passed away in July 7, 2009. Derril and Karen lived in Woodville, Idaho Falls, and Ammon before returning again to Woodville where they have lived the last 38 years. Derril and Karen raised 6 children.
Derril worked as a farmer, and also for several contractors at the AEC site. He worked in the hot cells as an engineer and as a reactor operator. He worked at the site for about 33 years when he retired in 1992. Derril had many interests and talents. He enjoyed rock hunting for semi precious stones of which he would use to make jewelry. He involved his family in these adventures. He also enjoyed painting. It was something he and his wife Karen enjoyed doing together. In 1994 Derril and Karen were called to be missionaries at the LDS Family History Center in Idaho Falls. They enjoyed serving for 7 years until 2001. Derril enjoyed teaching classes and working to keep the computers running well at the center. Derril enjoyed doing his own family research and searched out many of his own family lines.
Derril has spent the last 8 years caring for his wife who was ill. He made it possible for his wife to stay in at their home with the help of his children until her death in July. Derril had just a short time before he joined his wife. He was able to pass away in his own home with the support of his family especially Cathy. He is survived by his children, Kristan Sparks (Julie) of Shelley, Cathleen Lovell (Larry) of Ririe, Tamera Risenmay (Kim) of Redmond, Washington, Darren Sparks (Ruth) of Rexburg, Thane Sparks (Laura) of Shelley and Anita Green (Corey) of West Jordan, Utah and 25 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren, and his brothers Kerry Sparks (Janette) of Rigby, and Adrian Sparks (Judy) of Shelley.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 A.M. Wednesday Sept. 16
at Woodville 1
Ward Chapel (1555 N 700 E) with Bishop Kris Kelley, conducting. A Viewing will be at the Nalder Funeral Home (110 W Oak) in Shelley September 15, 2009, from 7-8:30, also at the Woodville church from 9:30-10:40am. Burial will be at the Woodville cemetery where he will be put to rest beside his beloved wife Karen.
The Sparks family would like to thank all those who have been such a support to our father through these past few years and for the friendship that was freely given. We especially want to thank the Blackfoot Hospice Care and Nurse Carrie Andrus.