Funeral services for Dennis Ray Sparby, age 62, of Milaca, will be held Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home in Milaca with Rev. Tim Bauer officiating. Visitation will be held Friday, October 19, 2012 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home in Milaca and 1 hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Saturday. Casketbearers will be Eldon Sparby, Jerry Sparby, Bob Sparby, Jim Sparby, Steve Sparby, and Karen Ranum. Providing music for the service will be Vicki Thompson .Interment will be at Forest Hill Cemetery. Arr. Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home of Milaca.
Dennis Ray Sparby was born June 8, 1950 in Thief River Falls, Minnesota to Alton and Alva (Leshar) Sparby. He was baptized and confirmed at the United Lutheran Church in Gatzke, Minnesota. He grew up in a loving family on the family farm, surrounded by six brothers and one sister. Dennis attended the University of Minnesota-Crookston before beginning his life-long career with Land O’ Lakes. After his retirement in 2008, he helped his brothers on the family farm during planting and harvesting season.
Dennis married Cari Peterson in 1969 they had two children. In 1985, Dennis married Julia Nicholson in Princeton, gaining six children. They moved to a hobby farm north of Milaca in 1987. Dennis and Julie loved to work on the farm, renovating the house and land into a wonderful family home. He loved his career, and excelled at all that he did. He loved the outdoors, especially fishing and hunting. Every year he looked forward to deer camp, and spending time with his parents, siblings, and their families at the family cabin. He instilled a love of the outdoors in his children and grandchildren. Never one to shy away from hard work, he taught them the value of hard work and dedication. Julie was his best friend and partner in life, sharing joy and sorrow, both with as much grace and love as possible. When he sadly lost his partner on October 15, 1999, he remained steadfast and true to his family. He was a wonderful and generous man.
Dennis died Monday, October 15, 2012 at the Fairview Northland Regional Hospital in Princeton, Minnesota.
He is survived by his children, Chad (Tina) Sparby of Buffalo, Jennifer Sparby of Blaine, Millisa (Steve) Pedersen of Woodbury, Jodi Casey of Isanti, Tonia (Phil) Holcomb of Milaca, Garrett (Jaquelyn) Stanton of Anoka, and Michelle (Clifford) Vander Heyden of Milaca; grandchildren, Paige Mackey, Cassie (Dustin) Casey, Andrew and Ryan Tulp, Violet and Christopher Stanton, Bryson, Dawson, and Jacob Holcomb, and Grace and Easton Vander Heyden; great-grandchildren, Jaelynn, Madysen, and Makenna Mogren; brothers, Eldon (Linda), Jerry (Luci), Bob (Sue), Jim (Tami), and Steve (Julie); sister, Karen (Joe) Ranum; sister-in-law, Joy Iverson; also by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Julie, his parents, and brother, David.