As the kids aged Papa Jim and Gramma Cindy welcomed 6 grandchildren into the fold. Austyn and Ashleigh Crum (Michele), Ryan and Abby Yeske (Jamie), Kessler and Whitley Sparing (Kurt) brought more joy to their Papa than anything in life ever had. He adored his grandchildren and couldn’t have been more proud of the parents that his own children had become.
Jim really came into his own during retirement. With Cindy by his side they cruised, camped and toured seeking adventure at every turn. He was at his very best when he was in the mountains whether it was picking “hucks” during the summer or chasing the elusive “wapiti” during the fall. There was not an inch of the mountains west of Helena that were unknown to him. Regardless of the season Jim could be found seeking perch and “eyes” on the reservoirs and lakes of Montana. He loved to tell the stories of his pursuits almost more than the pursuits themselves. You could always count on him for a solid tale of adventure or mis-adventure. Jim formed a network of hunting and fishing partners, coffee buddies, neighbors, church family and even a few extra “grandchildren” that will miss him immensely. He was our go-to guy.
Jim would want all to know that he knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior. This didn’t make him perfect; he struggled sometimes, as we all do, but he knew absolutely where he would spend eternity. With Jim Sparing there was never a project that was too big to tackle but some were just too big to finish. He was a visionary and found ways to make the ordinary extraordinary. He had a laugh that could be recognized from miles away and was known for his “rib noogies” and funny phone antics. He lived life with gusto and kept the body shops and emergency rooms busy for 68 years. He will be missed, “you know what I mean, and stuff and stuff”. We’ll save the turkey leg for you Dad.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents James and Deloris Sparing. He is survived by his wife Cindy, daughters Michele Russell (Brad), Jamie Bright (Nick), son Kurt Sparing (Korbey), grandchildren Austyn, Ashleigh, Ryan, Abby, Kessler, Whitley, and his Father and Mother-in-law Jim and Irene Newton. He is also survived by his sister Susan Smart, Sister-in-law Val Newton, Brother-in-law Mike Newton (Stephanie), JoAnn and Karl Kornkven, numerous nieces, a nephew, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The family is not planning a funeral for Jim at this time but will have a celebration of his life later this fall with details to follow. If desired, memorial donations can be made to Bridge Assembly Church (www.bridgehelena.com) and designated for missions work.