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Woodlawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park

400 Woodlawn Cemetery Road, Gotha, FL

OBITUARY

Ronald C. Sparks

October 14, 1925January 19, 2012

Ronald C. Sparks of Orlando, FL passed away on Thursday January 19th, 2012 surrounded by his family.

Born in Portsmouth, Ohio on October 14, 1925 to Ralph Sparks and Ruth Anderson Sparks, Ronald lived in Florida for the last 31 years of his life. He is survived by his wife of over 67 years, Hershel E. Bowman Sparks, his son Ronald E. Sparks, grandchildren, Rhonda Norheim, Ronald Sparks and Russell Sparks, great-grandchildren Ashley Norheim Skinner, Coral Norheim, Matthew Sparks, Ellis Sparks, Jose Torres, Christopher Sparks, Ashlee Dobson, Cameron Sparks, Leilani Torres, Anthony Sparks, and great-great-granddaughter Savannah Skinner. He is also survived by his brother Francis Sparks of Cambridge, MD, sisters Wanda Pitzer, Joyce Cassity, Shirley Hanselman, and Linda Heintz, all of the Cincinnati, OH area. Many nieces and nephews also survive him. He is pre-deceased by sister Eleanor Weller.

He grew up and attended school in Easton and Royal Oak, MD and started his career and married life after the War in 1949, in Cincinnati, OH.

A true American hero, Ronald’s life epitomized bravery, sacrifice, and loyalty. He met and married his wife mere weeks before he was shipped overseas to fight for our freedom in the Atlantic Theater as a member of the 106th Infantry Division. He was subsequently wounded and captured by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge and imprisoned as a POW at Stalag 9b in central Germany for nearly four months. Surviving on willpower and faith, Ronald was liberated and returned to an America changed by the War. His life thereafter reflected the hope and promise of a new future that he helped secure not only for himself but also for all Americans.

Honorably discharged from the US Army as a Sergeant, Ronald earned the following badges of honor and recognition for his service to our country: Bronze Star, Purple Heart, French Croix de Guerre, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Battle of the Bulge Commemorative Medal, WWII Victory Medal, POW Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, French Legion of Honor Medal.

Upon his return to the States, Ronald clocked over 3.5 million miles without an accident citation as a truck driver for various companies, retiring after 23 years from Murphy Motor Company. Ronald had a lifelong love of cars, motor vehicles, and anything on four wheels. He taught all three of his grandchildren how to drive; it was important to him that they learned how to do it right.

Ronald was a member of Fraternal Order of Masons Hoffner Lodge 253. He was also a member of Walnut Hills chapter 213 of the Order of the Eastern Star and a faithful member of Conway First Baptist Church in Orlando Florida.

Ronald will be missed by everyone who knew him; family, friends, and neighbors alike. His life represented a true testament to the strength, perseverance, integrity, honor, and responsibility of an entire generation; the Greatest Generation.

Arrangements under the direction of Woodlawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home, Gotha, FL.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, January 22, 2012
  • Graveside Service Monday, January 23, 2012

Memories

Ronald C. Sparks

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January 28, 2012

I was so sorry to hear of Ron's passing. I worked with Ron for several years at Middle States (later Murphy Motor Freight) in Cincinnati. I was just a teenager, still in high school, when I started at Middle States, working in the office as a billing clerk. I had the opportunity to see Ron every night before he left for work as an over-the-road trucker. He told me lots of war stories and how he was liberated at Bad Orb, Germany. He even showed me a photo of himself, from Time/Life Books, when he was liberated.

He was a true hero and was always very nice to me.

Rest in piece, Mr. Sparks, you were a very nice man to me.

Dave Burger, Cincinnati, OH

CAMILLE BERMUDEZ

January 23, 2012

In times of such a great loss I find Psalm 23 and "Footprints in the Sand" comforting Camille

January 22, 2012

So sorry for your loss, I am sure you are flooded with wonderful memories of this great man. He served his country well and is truly a hero. God Bless him and his family. Peace and Blessings

Eddie Hicks

January 22, 2012

I loved his story's, he always had one everytime I saw him, he will be missed by us all.

Judy Messer

January 22, 2012

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

January 20, 2012

The staff at Woodlawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY