Obituaries » Richard Warrick Sparke
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March 18, 1931 - January 8, 2020
Burial Date February 8, 2020
Funeral Home Rose-Neath Shreveport Marshall St.
Richard Warrick Sparke was born on March 18, 1931 in Shreveport, Louisiana, a son of one of Shreveport’s pioneering families, and passed away peacefully on January 8, 2020 at the age of 88. A Memorial Service honoring his life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Rose Park Baptist Church located at 5560 Buncombe Road, Shreveport, Louisiana 71129.
Richard was this area’s foremost purveyor of what he called “Little Known and Less Cared About Facts.” No topic fell outside the realm of his interest and, ofttimes, knowledge. Richard loved searching the Internet for information on anything that caught his eye including train and airplane trips, horticulture, and foods of the world. A true “Renaissance man,” Richard was a free thinker who appreciated everything from Wagner and Filet Mignon to Tex Ritter’s “Boll Weevil Song” and Bratwurst.
Richard graduated from C. E. Byrd High School in 1949 and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Centenary College of Louisiana in 1954. While active with frogs, alligators and Bantam roosters (which he showed at the Louisiana State Fair) as a young person, Richard’s real passion was for Botany, which he showcased through his elegant Black and White photography.
After working at Woody’s Cameraland for years, Richard came into the family business at the H. A. Sparke Co., Inc. Richard’s “South-paw” nature brought creativity and an insight into processes and new products, which allowed that business to flourish under his direction.
Throughout his life, Richard was a member of many diverse organizations – reflective of his diverse interests. At one time, he was a member of the Shreveport Society for Nature Study, the Ark-La-Tex Gem and Mineral Society, the Railroad Club, the Royal Photographic Society and, the Oakland Cemetery Preservation Society. His greatest contributions were to the Shreveport Photographic Society, which he helped found. Many of his lifelong friends were fellow photographers with whom he would discuss the vagaries of print and slide making and, more recently, the downfall of photography due to the “Digital Age.”
Richard is preceded in death by his parents, Hugh Aleck and Exa Warrick Sparke, as well as his only sibling, Martha Anne Sparke. Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Lona Renner Sparke; his daughter, Anna Maria and husband, Meade Patton; his pride and joy, his granddaughter, Melina; Melina’s father, Dan Keele and wife, Vivian, along with Daniel, Dana and Diana; and Richard’s sister-in-law, Ludy Parker.
In the words of Richard’s favorite photographer, Ansel Adams, “Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film. Your bright eyes and easy smile is your museum.”