Obituary and Condolences

Jerry Sparrow

August 9, 1945 February 27, 2019
Jerry  Sparrow
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Obituary for Jerry Sparrow

Jerry D. Sparrow, 73, of Coralville passed away on February 27, 2019 at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City following a short illness.
Jerry was born at home August 9, 1945 near Keswick, Iowa, the only child of Howard D. Sparrow and Ruth Irene Strasser. He grew up on the farm near Keswick until he graduated from high school then moved to Iowa City in the early 60s. From there Jerry put himself through college holding various jobs in construction, as a gas station attendant, and as a clothing store clerk. While earning a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Iowa, he began working at Collins Radio (now Rockwell Collins) as a draftsman and after graduating continued working there as an engineer specializing in heat transfer analysis. He worked at Collins until he semi-retired in 2004 and then worked part-time on contract until 2006 when he retired permanently.
While he was at Iowa he met and married the love of his life, Nancy Carole Mace, March 31, 1967. They were married 43 years until her death in 2010. They lived in Cedar Rapids for a short time, before moving to Swisher where they had their only child, Benjamin D., in 1979. Shortly after they moved to Coralville where they have lived ever since. He was very active in his son’s life going to his sports games, being a Scout master, and being a great all-around dad.
Jerry’s favorite thing was to relax and watch TV shows or movies and often fell asleep watching NCIS and Games of Thrones. His wife and son were/are voracious readers and some of that rubbed off on him. He also loved working with his hands and was a skilled craftsman. He had a serious interest in astronomy owning many telescopes and spent much time gazing at the stars and watching meteor showers. Jerry liked many kinds of music including pop, rock, and jazz, but his favorite was country and he also used to play piano. Another passion was sports. He enjoyed watching football, basketball, soccer, and tennis, but especially college sports and was an avid follower of the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Nancy. He is survived by his son, Benjamin of Coralville.
Honoring his wishes, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Iowa Public Television. He will be cremated at Lensing Funeral Service in Iowa City. A graveside service may be held in spring when his cremains are interred with his beloved wife, Nancy, in Oak Hill Cemetery in Coralville.

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Event Information

Cremation has taken place.

Cemetery Details


Oak Hill Cemetery -- Coralville Final Resting Place

1st Avenue North and Russell Slade Boulevard
Coralville, IA 52241

1st Avenue North and Russell Slade Boulevard Coralville 52241 IA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Iowa Public Television Foundation

Iowa Public Television 6450 Corporate Drive
PO Box 6450
Johnston, IA 50131

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