Thomas Jefferson Sparks

Sparks2    Thomas Jefferson Sparks, 66, of Kenmore, Wash., died with his family by his side Friday, February 6, 2015, from complications related to cancer.
    He was a loving husband to his wife, Shirley, and a wonderful dad to his three children, Jessica, Sarah and Sam.
    He was born in New York City on August 16, 1948, to Buford and Martha Sparks. He grew up with his older sister, Patricia, and younger brother, Matthew, in Cleveland. He moved to Seattle for college, where upon Sparks1experiencing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and meeting his future wife made Western Washington his home.
    Tom loved the mountains and hiking and camping with family and friends in our national parks. He enjoyed cooking and listening to music. He liked to go bird watching and had a knack for identifying birds.
    He was a curious man who relished the opportunity to share ideas. People trusted his advice, loved his witty sense of humor and enjoyed lively discussions with him about current events.
    The simple things were the most beautiful things to Tom, and he had a talent for expressing his outlook on life through writing and discussion.
   Sparks3 Tom will always be in the hearts of those who loved and cared for him. He is survived by his wife, three children, his mother and extended family and friends. 
    In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the U.S. National Park Service or to your favorite charity.
A service will be held Saturday, February 14, 2015. For information about the service, email

One Response to “Thomas Jefferson Sparks”

  • Rob McSay says:

    I am reading this as you are holding the service for Tom. It is a way I can be with you to remember him while you are remembering him.
    I felt he was my brother. I can remember so many times searching him out, wherever he was, when I came to visit (not sure you always appreciated that). At the White River campground (where we climbed to Sunrise with Sam), at a beach on the Pacific (where Alex and Sam, 3 or 4, exchanged in an instant a look of joy and purpose, tore off their clothes and ran into the ocean), at a campground up north (in the rain, that miraculously stopped when we got there, after driving away other campers so we had a place to pitch our tent), at a lake on the Olympic Peninsula. I remember so many other times, where Brian, Tom, and I would be together. The cheerful and challenging hikes, with friends, seriousness, and a million jokes. The magnificent dinners, beginning with simple tacos in the 70s to homemade tartar sauce for the salmon a la Thomas, as it is in my recipe book, and gallons of spaghetti in between, never the same twice, always superb, all eaten surrounded by the most cherished family and friends. And the joy brought to me by his wonderful family, you, Shirley, Jessica, Sarah, Sam,which I felt was, feel is, my family.

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