Floyd “Dave” Sparks, age 76, Johnson City, went home to be with the Lord on April 6, 2016 following a brief illness.
He was the son of the late Floyd D. Sparks and Beatrice Ford Sparks. Dave was a retired real estate broker and sports editor. He was a member of Ninth Street Baptist Church, of Erwin, and later King Memorial Presbyterian Church, of Bristol, Va. Dave graduated from Unicoi County High School and attended East Tennessee State University. He excelled in football, basketball, and baseball from an early age. He played in semi-professional basketball leagues during the late 1950s and early 1960s competing against some of the top players in the region.
He was a member of the Football Writers Association of America and Tennessee Association of Realtors.
Dave served as youth director of the YMCA in Erwin for several years.
Dave was also an award-winning sportswriter, editor, and columnist for The Bristol Herald Courier and The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Va. He took great pride and pleasure in telling the stories of high school and college athletes of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. He authored a book entitled Crest of the Wave detailing the success of the Clintwood High School football program during the 1970s.
Dave never forgot the spirit and camaraderie he enjoyed among his fellow reporters. He also felt privileged to cover the athletic programs of the University of Tennessee, University of Virginia, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Dave made many friends and acquaintances during his career as a sports journalist including Johnny Majors, Pat Summit, Bill Battle, Sonny Smith, and Ray Mears among many other sports world luminaries of the time.
He also worked in public relations with the International Hot Rod Association and Bristol Motor Speedway.
Dave was a successful real estate agent until his retirement. He pursued the business with the same passion he brought to his career in journalism. He held high standards of ethics and professionalism for himself and others.
He leaves behind to cherish his memories, one sister, Sue Sparks Wilson of Johnson City, nephew, Thomas D. Wilson of Johnson City, a special Aunt Evelyn Rice Ford, of Erwin. Several aunts, uncles and cousins also survive.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, April 8, 2016 in the Mausoleum of Evergreen Cemetery. Those wishing to attend will meet at the cemetery by 1:45 P.M. Friday. Reverend Steve Rice will officiate. Pallbearers will be
John H. Wright, J.J. Wright, Danny Brewer, Joe Sparks, Ethan Bailey, Scotty Brewer, Randy Rice and Ronnie Parkey.
Honorary pallbearers will be George Ballard, Kenny Kerr, Carroll Matherly, and Doug Williams.
The family extends a special thanks to all the nurses and staff at the Step-down ICU Unit of Holston Valley Medical Center, NHC in Kingsport, and the Wexford House in Kingsport.
Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Sparks family through our complimentary, interactive Book of Memories at www.ledfordfuneralhomes.com. Robert Ledford Funeral Home, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is privileged to serve the Sparks family. (423) 743-1380.