Craig W. McSparren, 80, died Tuesday, May 16, 2023 after a valiant battle with severe pulmonary hypertension. His family was by his side. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and uncle.
Craig was born November 18, 1942 in Independence, Missouri to Floyd W. and Margaret Simpson McSparren. He graduated from Van Horn High School in Independence in 1960 and William Jewell College in Liberty in 1964. He was an Eagle Scout. Craig was a proud member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and enjoyed the company of his brothers throughout his life. He was quite athletic and participated in football, basketball, and track in high school and football, basketball, swimming, and track in college. Craig served in the 110th Engineers Unit of the National Guard out of Kansas City from 1966-1972.
Craig married the love of his life, Gayle Farmer on May 29, 1964. They were high school sweethearts but their acquaintance may have first occurred in the nursery, as they were born two days apart at the same hospital in Independence. Craig and Gayle have two daughters, Kristen and Kim.
After graduating from college, Craig worked for Montgomery Elevator in the sales department and transferred to Moline, IL for two years. After returning to Independence, he enjoyed a long career as a salesman in the fire protection and detection industry, working for several different companies. He also served as an officer for SFPE (Society of Fire Protection Engineers). The culmination of his career was as the national sales manager for a special hazards fire detection company based in Massachusetts, which required extensive travel. Craig was always eager to get back home to his family and didn’t particularly enjoy life on the road. He retired in 2010 and enjoyed 12 wonderful years of leisure with his wife, kids, and grandkids. He loved watching his grandkids play sports and participate in all sorts of activities. He was a devoted, engaged family man who would do anything for those he loved.
Craig enjoyed being outdoors fishing, riding motorcycles, occasional golfing, and spending time at Lake of the Ozarks at the house his parents built. He enjoyed the friendships he cultivated in the ROMEO (Retired Old Motorcyclists Eating Out) group. He was always up for tinkering and fixing whatever needed attention. He was acutely interested in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Vietnam War.
Craig is survived by his wife Gayle, daughters Kimberly, and Kristen Thomas (Hans), and grandchildren Lux Ottesen, Eero Ottesen, Madeleine Thomas, and Augustus Thomas. We will miss his laugh, his beautiful blue eyes, and his never-ending love and support.
Family and friends will celebrate Craig’s life on Saturday, June 3, 2023, with a visitation at 9:00 and service at 10:00 at Speaks Suburban Chapel at 18020 E. 39th Street in Independence.