Delbert “Del” Lewis Sparks, a lifetime resident of the Rice and Kettle Falls area, passed away on Feb.14, 2012 at his home at the age of 77. He was born on May 22, 1934 in Colville, the son of Joseph Parron and Freda Grace (Lewis) Sparks.Del (Tub) was raised and attended school in Rice and Kettle Falls. After a football injury and fight with spinal meningitis in the ninth grade, Del left school to heal from his injuries. When healed, he started to work hauling cordwood to Evans. A pretty young lady named Arliene Ludeman caught his eye, and they decided to marry. Arliene’s dad said she had to graduate first, and they were married on June 6, 1960, five days after she graduated. Del worked most of his life as an auto mechanic and as a logger. He was self-employed many years, but also worked for the Brauner’s, Pernsteiner’s and Lotze’s, to name a few.Del was fun-loving and enjoyed spending time outdoors four-wheeling with his dog, Specks, and his cousin, Louie Rupert. He enjoyed riding horses in his younger days. He loved to dance and had a touch for music. He played the piano, guitar and accordion by ear. Del could always be found at the Little Gallea early in the morning, drinking coffee with his buddies and learning of the previous day’s happenings in Kettle Falls. Del called this the “Meeting of the Minds.” Del was plain spo¬ken and he always said what he meant and meant what he said. He will be missed by his large and loving family.Del was preceded in death by both of his parents; his broth¬ers, Robert W. “Bill” Sparks and John W. Sparks, and by a nephew, Steve Sparks. He is survived by his wife, Arliene Sparks of Kettle Falls; by his sons, Joseph Sparks and wife Carlene of Colville; and Mark Sparks and wife Karen of Irmo, SC; his seven grandchildren, Joey Sparks, Katie Sparks, Sam Sparks, Hannah Sparks, Ra¬chel Sparks, Ben Sparks and Jon Sparks; his sister, Betty-Jo “B.J.” Hergesheimer, and husband Gale, Gifford; his brother, Roy Sparks and wife Debbie of Kettle Falls; and numerous nieces and nephews.The graveside service was held Feb. 18 at the Meyers Falls Cemetery in Kettle Falls. Pastor Shane Moffitt officiated.Memorial contributions may be given to the charity of choice, Kettle Falls Cemetery Association, or to the Kettle Falls High School Vietnam Memorial Scholarship Fund. Please visit the online memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com. The Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory in Colville was entrusted with arrangements.