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Daniel Sparks

Daniel Fredrick Sparks passed away peacefully at home at the end of the day August 11, 2017 in Sioux Falls, SD after a courageous battle with a chronic illness. Daniel is survived by his spouse: Carole (Trainor) Sparks; his son: Robert Sparks; daughter: Tonee (Sparks) Goin; sisters: Margaret Varns and Judy Horlyk; foster parents: Julian and Verna Holter; and foster brother: Jerry Holter. He was preceded in death by his son James Danyl, mother Marie Horlyk, father Hector Sparks, brothers Don Sparks and Gerald Sparks, and sisters Jane Horlyk and Albena Reinke along with many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Dan was born in Yankton, SD in 1943 to Hector Sparks and Marie Horlyk. In early childhood, Dan's resilience was highlighted when he contracted TB but overcame the illness after being treated at Sanator, SD near Custer. Dan was later cared for at Bethesda Children's Home at Beresford before being welcomed along with his brother Don into foster care in the home Julian, Verna and Jerome Holter of Canton, SD where they raised him on a dairy farm. Dan thrived on the farm life and enjoyed singing tenor in both school and church choirs.
Dan later moved to Sioux Falls and attended Washington High School and graduated in 1962 before enlisting in the Army and working in aviation as a mechanic.  Just prior to being shipped out overseas, Dan was lucky enough to meet the love of his life and their love was nurtured through many letters back and forth. Dan married his sweetheart at the end of his enlistment in 1967 and enjoyed 50 years of marriage with her. 
Dan spent his early working career at Anderson Flowers and Ravens before beginning a 21 year career at Gage Brothers Concrete where he took great pride in having worked the finish on many of the concrete panels that occupy the Sioux Falls downtown area and beyond. Dan also attended business college with a focus on accounting at O'Gorman.
Dan shared his 'working man's' ideology with both of his children, with both of his children following his example through Army military service as well as sharing in the satisfaction of working with their hands on a project. Dan became the unofficial 'foreman' for whichever project that was undertaken and shared his years of experience with meaningful suggestions along the way. 
Dan was always a cowboy at heart with echos of John Wayne and Audie Murphy in his demeanor. The John Wayne quote "Courage is being scared to death - and saddling up anyway" epitomized how Dan lived his life and faced his health challenges. He enjoyed trail riding his own horses and read every western ever written by Louis L'amour and Zane Gray as well knowing most of the cowboy western movies by heart.  Dan's last evening was spent in his favorite chair watching a favorite Randolph Scott western movie after arriving home from an extended hospital stay.  

We thank all of the dedicated staff at the VA hospital in Sioux Falls for their many years of compassionate care as well as the skilled staff of Sanford Hospital for their kindness and compassion during Dan's recent stay.

Visitation will be held at Barnett-Lewis Funeral Home at 901 South Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls, SD on Saturday August 19, 2017 at 9:30 AM with a Celebration of Life service immediately following the visitation at 10:30 AM.  

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