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Dorothy Sparling

February 1, 1924 May 17, 2020
Dorothy Sparling
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Obituary for Dorothy Sparling


Dorothy Sparling, age 96, born at home in Bessemer, Michigan (way, way west in the U.P.!) February 1, 1924, to Michael and Katherine (Adams) O’Keefe, passed away peacefully on May 17, 2020 from old age. Her eldest child, Susie, and Susie’s husband Pete, were by her side. She was also surrounded by the love of her four other children and many descendants (see the list below), albeit from a distance due to Covid 19.
Dorothy was the loving wife of the late Louis ‘Bud” Sparling for 71 years. She is preceded in death by her sisters Marie Gray and Catherine Lobb, and by brothers Michael and James O’Keefe. Dorothy’s youngest sibling, Robert O’Keefe, lives in Wisconsin.
Dorothy started life in Bessemer, moved to Stevens Point, WI before returning to Bessemer. The family moved to Durand, MI in 1937 where she met her husband and graduated salutatorian from Durand High School, class of 1941. In the fall of 1941 Dorothy left home to work at Michigan State College. Before marrying Bud she left her secretarial job to work in a factory for considerably better pay and to help the war effort. Marriage to Bud in 1943 included a move to Flint as Bud attended General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and worked for GM. To rid himself of a tyrannical boss, Bud accepted a transfer to another GM facility. Off to Cleveland, Ohio went the family of 5. Bud accepted a great opportunity with Ford in Dearborn and so the family of 6 went back to Michigan and resided in a 900sf ranch in Wyandotte. Bud arrived the first day of work at Ford to find the new boss of his department was the same man he fled in Flint. A transfer to the Ford Wixom plant and the surprising, but wonderful, gift of another child necessitated a move to a new town and a larger home. The family of 7 settled into the final family home in Union Lake. After retirement in 1980, Bud and Dorothy split their time between Michigan and their residence in the Tropic Isles retirement community, of Palmetto, FL.
Dorothy enjoyed a full life, pampering a mid-20th Century husband, raising 5 children, secretary for Douglas Houghton Elementary School for 12 years and the Wayne Intermediate School District for another 9 years. In retirement, she enjoyed volunteering at the hospital in Bradenton and getting involved in the Tropic Isles social and entertainment scene.
Dorothy was cherished by her friends and family and will live on in the memories of the all those who knew her. Her sense of humor and quick wit, her laughter, her generosity, her love of reading books, wanting to read a REAL newspaper, playing cards, playing games (especially Scrabble), and late in life reading and playing games on her IPad, will certainly be remembered. But most of all she will be remembered for the love she felt and expressed to the whole family.
The comfort provided Dorothy in her final year of life by Susie and Pete in their home was greatly aided by Arbor Hospice. If you wish to honor her memory please donate to the hospice of your choice.
Daughter - Susan (Sparling, Tower) and Husband Pete Niedzielski
Susie and Pete’s children/grandchildren/great Grandchildren:
Susan McCaskill; son David McCaskill
Theresa Tower & wife Elizabeth Solzberg; son Griffin Solzberg
Karen Tower-Chapel; children – Andrew Tower, Michael Chapel, Logan Chapel, Kianna Chapel, Josephine Tower-Chapel; grandchildren Amanda & Antony
Steven Tower and wife Danielle; children – Jessica (Tower) and husband Austin Watkins, Zachary Tower and Alicia Tower
Nancy Niedzielski – children: Keegan & Keelia O’Brien
Nickalee Niedzielski-Sorter; children – Stephanie & Veronica Sorter
Aaron Niedzielski and wife Jeana; children – James, Jodeci & Greta
Son – Norman Sparling and Wife Sherri (Stoos) Sparling
Norm and Sherri’s children/grandchildren:
Carrie & husband Shane Stec; children – Sam, Clara and Aubrey
Amy & husband Brian Ellis; children – Layton, Paxton, Emery and Grayson
Sara Sparling; children – Dylan Mills, Caitlyn Woods
Bradley Sparling & wife Leann; children – Rylie, Lincoln & Maddox
Son – Mark Sparling and Wife Rachel (Schettling, Thompson)
Mark and Rachel’s children/grandchildren:
Jennifer & husband Greg Huizenga; children – Gregory, Anna and husband Jake Burnham, & Jillian
Nancy & husband John Symonds; children – Willow & Rafe
Rebecca and husband Mike Larson; children – Lily & Evie
Brenda Egbert; children – Hailey, Brendan & Zach Beckett
Jennifer (Egbert) and husband Chris Rupard; children – Ella & Helena
James Thompson and wife Julie (Gerald); daughter Lilac
Daughter – Christine Sparling
Chris’s children/grandchildren:
Stacey Doughty; son Seth
Benjamin Doughty and wife Nicole (Palumbo); children – Sophia, Sydney & Christian
Ryan Waters; children – Isla & Hardy
Son – Peter Sparling and Wife Anne (Fauth)
Pete and Anne’s children/grandchildren:
Megan and husband David Freeley; children – Beau & Fiona
Jaime Sparling; daughter Maxwell Bazemore
Samuel Sparling

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