Evans Sparks Jr. was a senior contracts administrator at Alion Science and Technology Corporation in Alexandria, Va.
Sparks died May 27, 2012. He was 49.
He was born in Philadelphia on Oct. 21, 1962, to Evans and Charlotte Sparks. He grew up in the Wynnefield section of the city and graduated from Overbrook High School in 1980.
His family said he was known as “Butch,” a name fitting for the jokester that he was, always smiling and making people laugh.
Sparks attended Penn State University, at Berhend Campus in Erie for two years and joined the United States Air Force in January 1983. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business information technology from the University of Maryland in 1995.
Sparks married Ruby Faith Smith of Hampton, Va., in 1990 and from this union two sons were born, Evans III and Nigel Alexander Sparks.
While in the Air Force, he served tours of duty as an attaché assistant for the Defense Intelligence Agency in Monrovia, Liberia, Africa, from 1990 to early 1992. This assignment covered a long period of civil strife and unrest.
After his military service was completed, the Sparks family settled in the Alexandria and Springfield, Va., areas for approximately nine years, which was followed by a move to their new home in Lorton, Va.
Sparks fulfilled a successful career at Alion Science and Technology Corporation where he was valued as an exemplary employee.
He began a life of service to others as a direct result of his life experiences in Africa. After being stationed in Africa he garnered a love for the continent and always spoke of returning for a visit. He developed a talent for exotic cooking and became the Sparks family chef.
Sparks’ love and devotion to his friend and family can be measured in the selfless work that he performed to aid those in need.
“One did not have to ask him for help, if there was a need, he made sure that it was met,” his family said.
Sparks loved working with his hands, painting, repairing cars and remodeling his home. He loved jazz, gospel and music from the ’80s.
Sparks pride and joy were his two sons. He insisted that his sons be raised in the old fashioned traditions that were instilled in him by his father and his late grandfather, Anthony Sparks. He spent countless hours mentoring and shaping the lives of his sons so that they would become men who loved and respected the institutions of education, family and hard work.
In addition to his wife, sons and parents, Sparks is survived by his stepmother, Vernell Sparks; sisters, Deborah Stephens, Cynthia Johnson and Michelle Manning; best friends, Howard Cary, Joda Holt and James Natson; and other relatives and friends.
Services were held June 4 at Greene Funeral Home in Alexandria, Va. Burial was in Quantico National Cemetery, Triangle, Va.