Larry L. Sparks

January 11, 1940March 19, 2023
Obituary of Larry L. Sparks
Larry Leon Sparks 1/11/40 - 3/19/23 Larry was born in Flagler, Colorado on January 11, 1940 to Lundie Leon Sparks and Ruby Ethel Dorsey. His father was serving in the U.S. Army and his mother was a teacher. Larry attended all 12 years of school in Flagler, graduating in 1958. He was a gifted student and a stellar athlete. He was a pitcher in baseball, played quarterback in football and guard in basketball. He always said he had to play quarterback to get the cheerleader he wanted (and he did)! He played trombone in band. He was Prom king and Patsy was Prom Queen. He attended University of Colorado and after freshman year he married his high school sweetheart Patricia Heid (Patsy). He graduated with a degree in Engineering Physics in 1962 and began his career at the National Bureau of Standards which is now National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, CO. He retired from NIST in 1995. Larry loved his work as a scientist. His technical work involved thermal and thermoelectric properties of materials at very low temperatures. He was well known throughout the international technical community. His publications on these topics are used extensively as standard reference works in government and industry. He also wrote several tutorial type chapters on special topics in the field of instrumental and thermal properties. His writings presented highly technical information in a manner that was readable by the non-specialist- a talent not often found in science today. He lectured across the country and in Europe. He spent his entire career in Cryogenics and often said he loved his job and would have worked there even if they hadn't paid him. He was able to take Patsy with him as he traveled the country. He served as a Group Leader and Division Chief and formed lifelong friendships during his time at NIST. Larry and Patsy had two children. Lundy Lane born in 1962 and Jacquelyn Heidi born in 1965. Larry was a lifelong learner who loved to read, travel, bike, run, dance and work with Patsy on their genealogy. They traveled to 48 states in their RV after retirement. He also completed the Ride the Rockies bike ride with his son-in-law Don Fesenmeyer. In his retirement he also wrote a book about his father, Lundie, who was killed in the Philippines in WWII when Larry was five. He used a trove of letters from Lundie to his mother during the war as references. Larry and Patsy had a lifelong love affair of mutual adoration, respect and devotion. They enjoyed 63 1/2 years of marriage. He had a great sense of humor and an upbeat outlook on life. He and Patsy were huge Bronco and CU fans. He was a caring and honest man who served as his Church moderator. He was an amazing husband, father and grandfather. He and Patsy loved following the grandchildren's sports and were starting over following the great grandchildren. Larry is survived by his beloved wife Patsy, children Lundy (Pam) and Heidi (Don), grandchildren Samantha Barker (Nick), Haley Keeling (James), Haden Fesenmeyer (Genna), Austin Sparks, Logan Sparks, Heath Fesenmeyer (Chaeli) and Tanner Sparks. Great-grandchildren Emma, Laney and Barrett Barker, Avery, Payton and Baker Keeling and Bristol and Dean Fesenmeyer. At Larry's request, no services are planned. "And if i go while you're still here... know that I live on, vibrating to a different measure behind a veil you cannot see through. You will not see me so you must have faith. I wait for the time when we soar together again both aware of each other. Until then, live your life to its fullest and when you need me, Just whisper my name in your heart... I will be there." Tom Clancy "Without Remorse"

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