Cover photo for Robert Lee Sparks's Obituary
Robert Lee Sparks Profile Photo
1943 Bob 2024

Robert Lee Sparks

October 26, 1943 — April 17, 2024


Robert “Bob” Lee Sparks, 80, of Buhl, Idaho, passed away peacefully and returned to his Heavenly home on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Bob, as he was known to all, was born in Buhl on October 26, 1943, to Alvie Lester Sparks and Mable Helen Rosencrantz, of Castleford, Idaho.

Bob grew up in Castleford and was known to wander as a toddler. His mom recounted getting a phone call from a local store owner who stated, “Mable, your boy is down here again. With no clothes on again.” Fortunately, he learned to keep his clothes on and matured into a strapping young man who weighed 185 lbs in 6th grade and was well known to carry gunny sacks of potatoes 4 at a time, one under each arm and one in each of his big hands. Bob graduated from high school in 1962 and claimed to be part of the largest graduating class in Castleford history.

Bob enlisted in the US Navy during Vietnam. He served on multiple carriers as a helicopter mechanic and was a proud veteran for the rest of his life. While home on leave, like any good sailor, he met a girl, the girl of his dreams. While at a funeral of all places, is where he met Connie.

Bob and Connie Newman fell in love and were married a short time later on June 8, 1967, in the Idaho Falls Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They enjoyed each other’s company and were the best of friends for the next 54 years until her passing. They are now together and enjoying their reunion.

For the better part of his life, Bob answered to Mr. Sparks. After graduating with a BA in Education from Idaho State University, Bob returned home to the Buhl/Castleford area for his first teaching position, third grade at Buhl Elementary. For the next 34 years, he was known for a gruff exterior with a sensitive touch. He was a true educator and had a passion for teaching and caring for all his students. He was known for shedding a tear while sharing his rendition of the folk story Stone Soup but mostly for “Big Red,” the yardstick paddle, also often referred to as the “Board of Education” applied to the seat of learning.

In addition to being an educator, he was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he served with all his might, mind, and strength in whatever role he was asked to do. He loved Scouting and spent many years volunteering as a leader. One of his favorite roles was as a Service Missionary with his wife Connie, helping anyone looking to find employment.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Connie; and a grandson, Tylan Houston.

He is survived by his son, Robert (Tracey) Sparks of Plano, Texas; daughter, Becky (Larry) Houston of Phoenix, Arizona; brothers, (Doc) Donald (Jeanette) Sparks of Buhl, Idaho, Larry of Jerome, Idaho, and Billy (Nicki) Sparks of Post Falls; sister, Pauline Borges of Jerome, Idaho; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; as well as nieces, nephews, and many friends.

Funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, Friday, May 3, 2024, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 101 Fair Street Avenue, Buhl. A graveside service will be held at Snake River Canyon National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be sent in Bob’s name to the Buhl Quick Response Relief Unit, 201 Broadway Ave N, Buhl, Idaho 83316.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Bob’s memorial webpage at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Lee Sparks, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, May 3, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

101 Fair Street Ave, Buhl, ID 83316

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