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  • James Edward Sparing Jr February 1, 1950 - July 23, 2018
    Updated On: Oct 03, 2019
    James Edward Sparing Jr February 1, 1950 - July 23, 2018

    Jim Sparing went home to be with his Lord and Savior on July 23rd , 2018. He passed away unexpectedly of natural causes.

    Jim was born in Helena on February 1st, 1950 with a penchant for adventure and a zest for life that could be matched by no other. He was born at St. Peters Hospital to James Edward and Deloris (Green) Sparing.

    Jim was the oldest of two children and grew up on the west side of Helena. He was the third generation of his family to attend Kessler Elementary School and has since been followed by two more generations. He graduated from Helena High School in 1968 and was looking forward to his 50th reunion this fall. While in high school Jim was an accomplished wrestler and kept busy with his job at Frontier Town. He was skilled at entertaining his classmates and kept the teachers on their toes. After high school Jim attended Montana State University (Go Cats!).

    Following his time in Bozeman, Jim joined the U.S. Army. He honorably served our country through active duty, National Guard service, and the Army Reserve until his retirement in 2001. Jim joined his father at “Ma” Bell in 1973 and had a full career. He retired in 2006 from the phone company after 33 years of service but continued to fill the role of “phone guy” for so many.

    Jim married Cynthia Ann Newton on October 2nd, 1976. They were blessed with three children Michele, Jamie and Kurt. He designed and built an earth sheltered home on a corner of his Grandfather’s homestead at the head end of Colorado Gulch which continues to serve as the family’s meeting grounds. While the kids were growing up Jim was his children’s greatest cheerleader and LOUDEST fan. He was involved in his children’s activities through coaching and 4-H Leadership. Jim was a devoted father who took great pride in the accomplishments of his kids. He was also active as a volunteer in the community serving on the Great Divide Ski Patrol and as the first ever Assistant Fire Chief of the Baxendale Fire Department. Jim was committed to his church, faithfully volunteering and serving on two mission trips to Moldova. At the time of his death he was actively planning another mission trip.

    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.Faceboowitter


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