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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


John Joseph Sparzak

Ocean Pines
The pearly gates were thrust open on 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, as St. Peter greeted John Joseph Sparzak with a firm handshake and a hug.
In the background, a jazz band could be heard playing “Oh When the Saints Come Marching In,” as John always wanted when this day came. We recognize how difficult the past four months have been for John, and ever the man of great strength, he remained strong until he was called to heaven to be reunited with his sister, Cynthia, and his mother and father.
What we can imagine is that today there is a patio in heaven with a table covered in newspaper and a bushel of crabs laid out for him to enjoy with his sister and brother-in-law, Johnny. It’s all right, dad, you can share a Natty Boh with your sister.
If there is one word to describe John, it is “strength.” His strength of character and Catholic faith was one to be emulated. His strong belief in family made him a husband of all ages to his wife of 49 years, Diane Marie Sparzak.
As a father, both of his sons, John and Mark, will tell you that if we can be half of the father to our children as he was to us, then we will have done just fine. His quiet assurances as a father, along with his quiet consternation at times, made him the most respected and admired man that John and Mark have ever known.
The greatest memories for us are those when he coached John and Mark in soccer and traveled up and down the mid-Atlantic region behind the wheel of the wood paneled Oldsmobile, taking the boys to college (Penn State and Loyola College).
Through the years, John was an unconditional supporter of his family, whether it was working with mom to start Marjo CrossStitch, supporting John at Penn State, or traveling to NYC to watch Mark play basketball for Loyola. Having grown up in Locust Point, John had strong ties to friends and family in this neighborhood.
He and Diane moved to Bel Air, where a family was started, having John in 1968 and Mark in 1971. Throughout life, being near the shore was always an important part of our lives together, from Nags Head to Ocean City, to finally residing in Ocean Pines.
There was no greater joy for John than spending time with his five grandchildren, Alexander, Gabrielle, Ivan, Crawford and Donovan. They put a smile on his face, whether they were on his lap or chatting by phone. John always had much to smile about, but the grandkids widened that smile and made him so happy every single time.
The legacy of John Joseph Sparzak is born out through his loving wife, Diane, his sons, John and Mark, daughters-in-law, Karen and Sigrid, and his five grandchildren.
A memorial service to celebrate his life is being planned to occur in Bel Air, Md. at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. A reception and luncheon will follow at the old church on the campus. We are hopeful that you can join us in celebration and in singing “Oh When the Saints Come Marching In.”
In lieu of flowers, donate to the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association.