Marlene Jo Sparrow, 89, North Manchester, passed away at home on December 22, 2021. The daughter of Earl E. and Mabel G. (Kintzel) Hatfield, Marlene was born September 3, 1932 in Warsaw, Indiana. Her father had his own refrigeration service business during Marlene’s growing up years. Her mother was mostly a stay-at-home mother but did clerical work for the business. Marlene was the oldest with a younger brother and sister. She loved to read books from the public library and going to the movies with her father on Saturday afternoons, which was her individual time with him.
Marlene graduated from Warsaw High School in 1950. During high school she was active in 4-H, F.H.A. Girls Athletic Association and was assistant editor for the yearbook. She furthered her education by going to the International Business College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and taking several classes at I.U. Extension in downtown Ft. Wayne. Marlene had received a full-ride scholarship to attend Ball State in Muncie, but turned it down when she learned she would not receive a refund from International Business College.
Richard Sparrow had dated some of Marlene’s friends so she knew him but their relationship really didn’t develop until the Mermaid Festival in N. Webster, IN, in 1950. They were married August 31, 1952, in the Warsaw EUB Church. Richard had 2 more years to complete his degree at Purdue so the couple lived in West Lafayette, Indiana for those 2 years. During that time Marlene worked for a well-known animal nutritionist at Purdue. Following graduation Richard was called to active duty in the Army during which time they lived in Virginia and in Germany. Since 1961 they have lived in N. Manchester where Richard taught Vocational Agriculture, was advisor for the FFA, and also taught related sciences and computers. Marlene was a longtime secretary to attorney J.W. Daggett and from 1969-1979 owned the local franchise of H&R Block. She was also involved with Sparrow’s Carmel Corn from 1978 to 2003.
Richard and Marlene had a daughter and 2 sons. When the children were still at home the family’s activities were mostly connected with school, F.F.A. and the United Methodist Church. She was also active as a leader in 4-H and Girl Scouts. Most of Richard’s and Marlene’s travel was to visit their children and for F.F.A. and school activities. However, Marlene did make 2 tours to Canada. Marlene’s favorite place was Nova Scotia. Richard died in 1998. Marlene was active in the Wabash County Cancer Society and the Retired Teachers. She has been recognized for her work in United Methodist Women, locally and in the district. She was active on the Mission Committee, taught Bible School and Sunday School and worked with youth. Marlene enjoyed reading, especially books by John Grisham, and watching Purdue men’s and women’s basketball.
The loving memory of Marlene Sparrow will be forever cherished by her sons, Randall J (Janice) Sparrow, Waukesha, Wisconsin and Ryan J. (Michelle) Sparrow, Haddonfield, New Jersey; daughter Richarda “Ricki” (Keith) Neuman, Lenexa, Kansas; sister, Sue Wade, Sebring, Florida and 10 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Grandchildren are: Eric Neuman, Albuquerque, NM; Erin Neuman, Overland Park, Kansas; Emily Neuman, Bentonville, Arkansas; Evan Neuman, Overland Park, Kansas; Logan (Sparrow) Underwood, Centerton, Arkansas; Robert Sparrow, Casselberry, Florida; Abigail Sparrow, Haddon Heights, New Jersey; Amy (Sparrow) Phelps, Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Anna Sparrow, Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Allison Sparrow, Haddonfield, New Jersey.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Earl E. and Mabel G. (Kintzel) Hatfield; husband, Richard L. Sparrow and brother, Eddie Hatfield.
Friends and family may call Friday, January 28, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at McKee Mortuary, 1401 State Road 114 West, North Manchester, Indiana 46962. Funeral services will begin at 5:00 p.m. Burial will be held Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Etna Green East, East High Street, Etna Green, Indiana.
For those who wish to honor the memory of Marlene Sparrow, memorials may be made to the Richard L. Sparrow Scholarship Fund c/o McKee Mortuary, 1401 State Road 114 West, North Manchester, Indiana 46962.
The family of Marlene has asked that people attending wear masks.
The family of Marlene has entrusted McKee Mortuary with care and final arrangements.
Richard L. Sparrow Scholarship Fund c/o McKee Mortuary
1401 State Road 114 West, North Manchester IN 46962