Donald Sparks

Obituary of Donald Eugene Sparks

Donald E. Sparks, 66, of Niles, passed away at the Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids on January 16, 2022. Donald was born to the late Oliver & Ruby (Royse) Sparks in Peru, Indiana, on September 16, 1955. Donald was a man of hard work and integrity. Growing up, he moved all over the country with his parents who worked on fruit farms. Hard work, long days, and physical exhaustion were no stranger to him and he took the lessons learned on the farm and applied them to his everyday life. He was a man's man; hunting, fishing, a cold beer, and fast cars were all things that he looked forward to and enjoyed the most. However, nothing ever compared to the joy that his family brought him. Donald married Deborah Opfer in Manistee, Michigan on February 20, 1987. The happy couple raised six children and were lucky enough to become grandparents to thirteen grandchildren. He was a great dad, but an even better grandpa. If Donald was in the kitchen he was known for a couple of great dishes; meatloaf, spaghetti, and cornbread. One could tell if he was cooking just by the smell coming in from the kitchen. He loved to have family over and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with some of his friends. Anybody who was coming over could always expect a cup of coffee waiting for them if they wanted one. Coffee kept him going during the long days of landscaping. Not only did he keep his own yard prim and proper, but he enjoyed doing it for others as well. He was the kind of guy that never gave anything just a half effort, he was detail-oriented and was out to do a good job every time. The two things he always kept looking good were his 86’ mustang and his beloved tomato plants. He took a lot of pride in the classic cars that he owned and when he was feeling like going for a drive, the casino was always his first stop. Donald was an easy guy to be around and anybody that knew him could tell you that. He will be missed by many family members, friends, and all those he had a chance to meet. He is preceded in death by both of his parents, Oliver and Ruby (Royse) Sparks; and two brothers, James, and Terry Sparks. He is survived by his loving wife, Deborah (Opfer) Sparks of Niles; six children, Greg (Sherry) Sparks of Dowagiac, Steph (Shawn) Sparks of Dowagiac, Doug (Joan) Opfer of Kalamazoo, Steve (Candace) Opfer of South Bend, Samantha (Jeff) Butterworth of Arkansas, and Matt Sparks of Niles; there are ten surviving grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and his last surviving brother, Rickie Sparks. Those wishing to make a memorial donation may donate directly to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services. A public visitation will be held for Donald on Friday, January 21st, 2022 at Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services, of Niles.
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Sparks Public Visitation

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, January 21, 2022
Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services
521 E. Main St.
Niles, Michigan, United States
(269) 683-1155
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