James R. Sparrow, 69, of Rock Island, formerly of Port Byron, died Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, at Trinity Rock Island. A funeral Mass celebrating his life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Annawan. The Rev. Mark Miller will officiate. Burial will follow in Greenview Memorial Gardens, East Moline. A visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 at the Atkinson Chapel of Vandemore Funeral Homes and Cremation Services Ltd., where a Rosary will be held at 4:30 p.m. Memorials may be left to Sacred Heart Church, Annawan or a charity of the donor’s choice.
He was born on May 27, 1943, in Moline, the son of Roma and Ester (Schultz) Sparrow. He was a graduate of Riverdale High School and Marycrest International University from which he received a degree in math and computer science. He married Barbara VanHyfte in 1981 in Annawan. He worked for 47 years as a Tool and Die Layout Inspector for John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, retiring in 2010.
He was a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, Rock Island. He was a member of the Doric Masonic Lodge of Moline and was charter and past member of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Father Bader Assembly of Rock Island. He enjoyed fund-raising at his church, woodworking, home remodeling, camping and sailing. He traveled extensively for Deere training and educating other employees.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara; one daughter, Britta Battin of St. Charles; one son, Jeff Sparrow of Sweden; eight grandchildren; one sister, Pat Huff of East Moline; and one brother, John Sparrow of Clearwater, Fla. He was preceded in death by his parents.