Tennis

       


Thomas Anthony Sparta, Jr.

June 21, 1959 ~ October 13, 2018 (age 59)
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On Saturday, October 13, 2018. Tom was born on Father’s Day June 21, 1959 in Midland, MI, the 4th child and first son of Irene (nee Foster) and Thomas Anthony Sparta Sr. He spent his early childhood in Zurich Switzerland, Athens Greece and Milan Italy before returning to Midland to finish High School in 1977. He graduated from Lafayette College (his father’s and grandfather’s alma mater) in 1981 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. There he made lifelong friendships with his fellow Zeta Psi fraternity brothers. Thomas continued to follow in his father’s footsteps and joined DOW Chemical Company, moving to San Francisco where he bravely survived "The Big One" earthquake of 1989. Following the passing of Tom’s first wife, Leslie Wennerstrom, he moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and falling in love with Kristi Mays. Together, they built a life and family as they traversed around the country with 4 children, Chris, Alex, Mikey, and Joey, in tow and settled in Pittsburgh, Pa in 1999 to work for Bayer Chemical and eventually the Lanxess Corporation. An active and avid tennis player, he competed and gracefully won in tournaments from the ages of 9 to the weekend before his passing. He always carried himself humbly and respectfully whether in victory or in very narrow victory. Tom surrounded himself with family, whether it be with his parents who he adored, his siblings who adored him, the aunts and uncles and niece and nephews and cousins and 2nd cousins and 4th cousins once removed who he always had a smile, a joke, and a hug. He loved his friends dearly and fiercely, always making sure there was time, yearly trips, and bourbon for them. His children were the pride of his life, he would glow as bragged on their achievements, cheered at every race, game, show. Tom would never miss their opportunity to shine and eagerly accepted his role as a grandfather. He loved his wife, Kristi, to his core. Never easy and rarely perfect, they found each other every time, strengthened and repurposed by each other's love. To Tom, family was everything. He was never one to hold back a compliment, a kind word, or flatulence. Tom embodied the family motto, Family Above All, every day and was the glue for those lucky enough to feel that bond. His legacy will have stories told, tears shed, and so much laughter. In lieu of flowers, his family asks that you speak to your loved ones and always let them know what they mean to you. Time is a fickle thing and can go so quickly. Tom was predeceased by his first wife Leslie and his father Thomas A. Sparta Sr. He is survived by Kristi; his sons Chris, Alex, Mikey, and Joey; his mother Irene; his older sisters Nancy, Pat and Julie; his younger brothers Mike, Dan and Joe; his grandson Parker; his nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family; his dear friends and his dog Romo. To us- Tom will always be Number 1.  No Visitation. Service and Interment were private.

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