John Wesley Sparrow, Sr. passed peacefully to his heavenly home on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, at the age of 86. He was born June 15, 1934, to the late Nellie Cooke Sparrow and H. Booker Sparrow.
He attended Scranton High School and graduated valedictorian in 1951. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1955.
On July 8, 1956, John married Juanita Strickland Sparrow of Olanta. He attributed to her a great part of the success he had in life.
In addition to his parents and wife, John was predeceased by his brother, Holland "Pete" B. Sparrow, an infant son, and a great-granddaughter, Cecilia Hope Sparrow.
He is survived by two sons, J. Wesley Sparrow, Jr. and Samuel "Sammy" F. Sparrow and daughter-in-law, Claudia C. Sparrow. In addition, he is survived by his grandchildren, Matthew (Allison) Sparrow of Charleston, Amanda (Harrison) Rapp of Greenville and Samantha Sparrow of Scranton. His great - grandchildren, Perry Sparrow, Booker, Riggins, and Waylon Rapp were a most joyful part of his life. He is also survived by nieces and nephews: Henry (Linda) Sparrow, Betsy (Mike) Alexander, Steve Sparrow, Walter Sparrow, and Leesa (Willie) Infinger.
He always offered highest accolades to his administrative assistant, Lisa DuRant, who has been a family friend and his right hand during his business life and during his illness.
His business life included the following: Chair and Founder of H. B. Sparrow and Sons Produce, Sparrow Recreation Center, Planters Warehouse of Lake City, Sparrow Properties, Sparrow and Fair Tractor Company, and Sparrow & Kennedy Tractor Company.
A lifelong member of Scranton United Methodist Church, John held many offices including Sunday School teacher, Superintendent of Sunday School, Church Council Chair, Finance Committee Chair, and Certified Lay Speaker.
He served in the United States Army for two years, the Board of Trustees of Florence County School District 3 and the Board of Trustees of Carolina Academy. He was awarded the "Order of the Palmetto" in August, 2020 by Governor Henry McMaster.
The family wishes to express deep appreciation to Wanda Wilson and to the representatives of Comfort Keepers, especially Reed Francis, Sandy Graham, Gloria Fleming, Ruthie Bynum and Amelia Mack. In addition the family is grateful for McLeod Hospice.
A service of celebration will be held in the Scranton United Methodist Church Cemetery on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 1:00 PM.
At the request of the family, please consider memorial contributions in lieu of flowers. Memorials in John's name may be made to Scranton United Methodist Church, PO Box 159, Scranton, SC 29591.
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