Michael Flynn Sparks

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Michael Flynn Sparks 83, passed away Thursday April 14, 2022.

Mike was born December 7th, 1938, to John Wendell and Elsie Jane (Green) Sparks in Arp, Texas. He grew up in Temple, Oklahoma and graduated from Clinton High School in 1955. Mike joined the Army and was honorably discharged in 1961. After the Army he enrolled at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where he played football for the Bulldogs. Mike married Jane Ellis Crabb on August 16th, 1962, at the Russell Baptist Church. They had two children, David and Paul. After graduating in 1965, Mike and Jane moved to Oklahoma City and both taught school. Mike started coaching high-school football and baseball in Burns Flat in 1967. He would go on to coach football at Lawton High, Woodward, Hobart, Frederick, Marlow, and Mangum. Mike retired in 1997.

Mike was unique. He lived a full life. He was open and compassionate to all people. He loved learning new things and visiting new places. Mike enjoyed music and theater, sports, and travel. He could drive for hours and never get tired. As a teacher, coach, and counselor, he loved working with kids. He was committed to education and worked tirelessly with young people to help them reach their potential and encouraged them to follow their dreams. He was philosophical and liked a deep conversation, but he also liked the coffee shop. After retirement, “Papa Mike” and “Ma Jane” spent much of their time following their children and grandchildren around, going to sporting events and plays along with whatever else they got up to. Mike was a devout Christian. He spoke often of his faith and taught Sunday school at the Mangum First United Methodist Church. He sang in the choir and loved it.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, John and Elsie, and his little brother, Kent Sparks.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Sparks, sons David and wife Karlie of Ponca City and Paul and wife Annie of New York City; seven grandchildren, Cole, Beau, Emmett, Camden, Cruise, Lydia, and Kyler Jane. And one goddaughter, Jaelynn Sherwood