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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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December 2, 2021

4/7/2018 7:26:00 AM
Gary L. Sparling

Gary L. Sparling, age 80 of the town of Woodboro, passed away Thursday, March 29, 2018. He was born Jan. 2, 1938, in Wichita, Kansas, to Fred and Thelma (Neuenschwander) Sparling.

Gary enjoyed serving the public and meeting new people at all of the jobs he had during his life.

One of his first and last jobs was as a grocery bagger, first as a teen in Kansas and finally at Trig's in Rhinelander. During the roughly 50 years between these jobs some of the careers Gary had were station agent for Ozark Airlines, air traffic controller for the FAA, heat treat technician for Triumph Twist Drill and AODA counselor for Kohler Behavioral Health.

Gary especially enjoyed the time he spent with his fellow employees and customers at Trig's.

Gary married Sharon Peterson on April 20, 1958 in Rockford, Illinois. They began their family in Illinois. They were fortunate enough to move their family to the Rhinelander area in 1973 and enjoyed all of the attributes the area had to offer. One of Gary's favorite pastimes was the work he did as Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 572.

Gary enjoyed spending time with his family and loved them all dearly. His family and friends feel very fortunate to have had him in their lives and he will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon, his daughter Kerry Jensen, his son Larry (Diana) Sparling; six grandchildren, Karl (Emily), Karl (Beth), Nichole (Matt), Chad (Caitlin), Kory (Nicole), and Keith; five great-grandchildren, Izabella, Ian, Miranda, Jacob, and Eleanor; other family and many friends.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents; his infant sister Donna Lou, his brother Wilbur and his son-in-law Stan Jensen.

The funeral service for Gary will be held Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 11 a.m., at First United Methodist Church in Rhinelander with Rev. Keith Wolfe officiating.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of service on April 14 at the church.

Interment will follow in the Forest Home Cemetery.

You may leave your private condolences for the Sparling family at

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the family.

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Article comment by: miranda sparling

this was my great-grandpa and since he passed I always remembered then whenever I went over to their house in the summer we would always go on a boat ride and I would sit on his lap and help drive the boat. but now we can't do that anymore and I don't even like seeing a lake anymore because I miss him too much.
I love him so so much and I think about him every day and I always hive his photo by my bed at night all the time. i also read this article every day to.

Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Article comment by: Patty Raske

Sharon and family, I am so sorry. I did not know about Gary's passing until tonight.
I remember the fun we had when we first met. So many hours at your house.
I just can't apologize enough for not being aware.
I hope we can get in touch sometime.
Take care and God Bless you all.


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