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Letter: A Short Biography Of J. Fred Sparke

I had known J. Fred Sparke for many years and had many interesting talks with him about Island Trees and the area surrounding this part of Long Island. He used to talk about how the area, which had started to overflow with new homes and people in the late 1940s, was at one time a true farm community. 

 

The Sparke family had lived in this area of Island Trees for over 200 years, and had been farming the land these many years. J. Fred Sparke was the son of Henry Sparke, a founder of the Island Trees School District back in 1902. 

 

J. Fred Sparke was a farmer in the true sense of the work and loved the soil He was a member of the Nassau County Farm Bureau and was a committeeman for the bureau for more than 20 years. He married the former Helen Graham and together they built their home on Seaman Neck Road. The original home still stands and is surrounded by many large trees, which he had planted at the time of his marriage. 

 

He had a daughter, Helen, and two sons, Edgar and William. He also had four grandchildren. Helen marred into the Boos family and is the only child who is in the family business with her husband.

 

Back in 1912, Sparke was the collector of taxes for the school district and in 1915 he changed to the treasurer of the school district when the County of Nassau started to collect taxes for the various school districts. He had been the treasurer for 43 years until his death on May 9, 1955. 

 

His interment in St. John of Jerusalem Cemetery on Wantagh Avenue, his last resting place, is within the area where he lived and worked all his life. 

 

The school board in 1955, named the then new elementary school to be built on Robin Place near Condor Road in his honor. Today the J. Fred Sparke School stands as a memory to a man who had given much of himself to the school district as well as to the early days of farming in the community. 

 

(Editor’s note: This biography was submitted by the Island Trees School District in response to Susan Reckling’s request for more information about J. Fred Sparke, which printed in the Friday, Sept. 6 edition of the Levittown Tribune. This biography was written on March 8, 1963 by an author of the first name, Lad. The last name is illegible in the copy obtained.) 

 

News

In response to the county’s fly-by-night decision to remove 176 old oak trees along Seaman’s Neck Road, earlier this month, New York State Sen. Kemp Hannon has issued a letter to Nassau County Department of Public Works Commissioner Shila Shah-Gavnoudias regarding constituents’ concerns with the appearance of the roadway.

In his letter, Hannon asks Commissioner Shah-Gavnoudias if the removal of the trees were under the jurisdiction of LIPA or PSEG.

“If not, I would like to know who made the decision to remove these trees and why,” Hannon states. “I request you review this case and take whatever course of action necessary.”

U.S. Navy Veteran Richard Meyerowitz of Levittown joined the military in 1962, enlisting straight out of high school. While he would never see combat, Meyerowitz served as a boilerman aboard the U.S.S. Dewey amid the United States’ blockade of Cuba.

“They gave us our orders,” Meyerowitz said, “turn any vessels away. If not, blow ‘em out of the water.”

During the blockade, Meyerowitz said he only encountered one ship, which they warned to turn back. Just a kid at the time, Meyerowitz said it didn’t occur to him at the time, how the country could have been on the verge of nuclear war.


Sports

Christopher Joseph of Levittown was recently selected to play on the United States world university hockey team in Italy this year. A 2009 MacArthur High School graduate, Joseph was captain of his high school team for two seasons, leading them to two championships. Joseph would later go on to play junior hockey for New York Apple Core and the New Jersey Rockets junior ‘A’ team.

Joseph’s parents, Hal and Theresa, along with his brother Robert and sister Kristin said they are very proud of Christopher’s accomplishments and are cheering him on as he heads off to Italy.

Farmingdale State College had four players named to the 2014 D3baseball.com All-New York Team. Senior outfielder Edward Bergmann of East Meadow, earned First Team honors, while junior shortstop Anthony Alvino of Lindenhurst was named to the Second Team. Junior outfielder Michael Marino of Franklin Square and sophomore pitcher Alex Weingarten of East Rockaway also earned Third Team honors this year.

Bergmann batted a team-leading .421 this season and also led the Rams in hits (53), runs scored (42), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.503), stolen bases (30) and held a perfect fielding percentage. Nationally, Bergmann ranks 4th for stolen bases per game (0.88), 10th in stolen bases, 23rd in both on-base percentage and batting average and 29th in runs scored per game (1.21).


Calendar

BOE Planning Session

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Bad Seed Auditions

Thursday, Aug. 28

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs

Friday, Aug. 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com