John R. Sparano Sr., 87, a lifelong resident of Whitehall, passed away into the arms of the Lord Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at Albany Medical Center surrounded by his loving family.
Born Jan 11, 1932, on First Avenue in Whitehall, he was the son of the late Ralph and Rose (Caruso) Sparano.
Before graduating from Whitehall High School in 1949, he was an outstanding basketball player and pole vaulter. After graduation, he played on a semi-pro basketball team.
He worked on the Delaware and Hudson Railroad for a short time before becoming a correctional officer. He retired as the Superintendent of Industries at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in 1988.
He was married to Rose (Battease) Sparano and had one son, John Jr.
He had many loving and wonderful years with his current wife Peggy Molinero Nemcek, and his step-daughters Krista and Gretta, whom he raised as his own daughters.
Peggy and John traveled to Europe and enjoyed several cruises to the Caribbean islands. They made many trips to gambling casinos, including Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Their last adventure together was a trip of a lifetime last year with her sister and brother-in-law to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
He was an avid bowler, participating in bowling leagues in Whitehall, Granville and Fair Haven, Vermont, for many years.
He spent many summers with his father growing elaborate gardens and thousands of tomatoes used in the former Hudson Falls restaurant D’Amico’s, owned by his sister and brother-in-law.
He was an avid sports fan often found at Whitehall High School boys’ and girls’ basketball games. And he was a die-hard Yankees fan.
He enjoyed many breakfasts with his friends at the Wooden Soldier in Fair Haven, Vermont. He was a communicant of Our Lady of Hope Church, which he tried to attend daily.
He was a past member of the Knights of Columbus and the Mount Carmel Society and is a member of Whitehall Elks Lodge 1491 and Fair Haven Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Besides his parents and first wife, John was predeceased by his sister Antoinette D’Amico, brothers-in-law Larry D’Amico and Malcolm Lampkins, nephew John Lampkins, brothers-in-law John and Neil Molinero, sister-in-law Janet Jillson, and his father-in-law John Molinero. He was also predeceased by his dear friend and gambling partner Glen Guitar.
John is survived by his devoted wife Peggy, his children John Sparano Jr. of Whitehall, Krista Nemcek Cotich (Richard) of Granville, and Gretta Nemcek Hochsprung (Peter) of Queensbury; sister Corinne Lampkins and sister-in law Beth Molinero (Jeff Grenier) of Whitehall; and mother in law Joyce Molinero of Whitehall.
Also left to cherish his memory are his grandchildren Timothy Sparano of Whitehall, Brandy Sparano of Brattleboro, Vermont, Keira and Landon Cotich of Granville, Gavin and Hayden Hochsprung of Queensbury, and Jackson, Carter, and Griffin Stanclift of Queensbury. He is also survived by four great-grandchildren, several nieces, nephews and cousins, and close friend Bob Gordon.
Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Jillson Funeral Home Inc., 46 Williams St., Whitehall.
A Mass of Christian burial will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 at Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church, Skene Steeet, Whitehall, with The Rev. Rendell Torres, pastor, officiating. There will be a celebration of life immediately following the funeral at the Whitehall Elks Lodge, 5 Elks Way. Burial will take place in the spring in Greenmount Cemetery.
The Whitehall B.P.O. Elks 1491 will conduct a Lodge of Sorrow at 6:45pm on Tuesday.
Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Hope Church, 9 Wheeler Ave., Whitehall, N.Y. 12887.
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral section.
Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church
9 Wheeler Ave., Whitehall NY 12887