Cover photo for Derry D. Sparlin's Obituary
Derry D. Sparlin Profile Photo

Derry D. Sparlin

Derry Dean Sparlin, Sr, 83, passed away on October 11th, 2016 in Springfield VA after a long battle withAlzheimer’s disease.Derry was born December 1st, 1932 in Columbia, MO, the second child of Estal and Harriet Sparlin. Hisfamily moved often, to Fayetteville AR, Little Rock AR, Jefferson City MO, and finally Webster Groves MOwhere he graduated from high school in 1950. Derry attended the University of Missouri to study music,moving after a year to St. Louis. There he met Edna Smith while working for Woolworths. In 1954 heenlisted in the US Army and was stationed in Japan. During this same year he married Edna, the motherof his three children.After completing his service, Derry moved to Collinsville IL, where he worked as a manager forWoolworth and then as a zone superintendent for Ben Franklin. In 1959 the family relocated to PoncaCity, Oklahoma where he began his career with the Continental Oil Company Conoco. Derry earned aBS in Chemistry at Oklahoma State in 1964, attending classes at night. At Conoco, his career grew fromresearcher to a Director in the Research Division specializing in sand control technology. At Conoco andlater in his career, Derry was awarded 50 U.S. patents. In 1976 he moved to Lafayette, LA for a VicePresidency at Baker Sand Control, before moving to Houston. During this time he began travelinginternationally.While in China in 1979, he met the love of his life, Ruth Anne Geary, whom he married in 1980 andadored until she passed away in 2002. In 1980 Derry also left Baker Sand Control to start his owncompany, ICCI. With partner Ray Hagen, Derry and Ruth Anne travelled the world consulting andtraining teams of people on sand control technology. Between work and pleasure Derry and Ruth Annetravelled to 65 countries. After a long and fulfilling career Derry retired from ICCI in 2003, moving toTucson, AZ where he lived with his third wife, Elaine until 2009.Derry’s greatest passions were making music he sang in church choir and played piano, writing poetryand music, and being surrounded by happy people. He was also a life-long Presbyterian who spent mostevery Sunday in worship. He spent his sunset years at the Greenspring Community in Springfield, VA,moving there in 2010 following an Alzheimers diagnosis. It was here that he met and married JennieSparlin, a kind and loving companion to him in his final years. He enjoyed his life at Greenspring and wasvery blessed with the love and friendships he found there.Derry is survived by his children, Dean Debbie Sparlin of Springfield, Lee Steve Fankhauser ofMcAllen, Texas, and Louise Dickinson of Scotia, NY; grandchildren: Sarah Kevin, Paul, Chris, Will, Cindy,Joe and Mark; and great grandchildren Owen and August. He is predeceased by his older brother, DavidSparlin, and survived by his 3 younger siblings: Denise Russ Gilgen or Florida, Dale Christy Sparlin andDan Sparlin.Services are planned for Thursday at 2pm in the Greenspring Chapel, 7410 Spring Village Drive,Springfield, VA 22150. There will be a short reception afterwards. In lieu of flowers the family requeststhat donations be made to the Alzheimers Association in Derry’s name to support ongoing research.

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