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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

 

While Island Trees School District officials plan to reexamine a proposal to develop senior housing on 11.3 acres of property currently used to house the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow schools, district officials have so far been unwilling to identify the developer. 

 

The plan to sell the Farmedge property was first conceived in 2010, when BOCES dropped its lease on the Gallow school. The school district issued a request for proposals. After reviewing its options, the Island Trees Board of Education selected and presented to the

public a proposal to develop 160 to 247 housing units for seniors over 55.After public outcry against the project, the district said it would go back to the drawing board, re-opening discussions and engaging a wide range of stakeholders. However, despite requests from the public and the press, the district has steadfastly declined to identify the developer of the initial proposal—which may yet end up being the winning bid. 

 

After announcing his resignation from the Levittown School District last January, Superintendent Dr. James Grossane has accepted a new job as Superintendent of the Smithtown Central School District. 

 

“I look forward to the new challenges awaiting me in the Smithtown Central School District,” Grossane said. “I wish the Levittown Public Schools and its students, parents and staff all the best as they continue to move forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”


Sports

The Farmingdale State College baseball team earned an 8-2 victory over the College of Staten Island in a recent non-conference home game.

 

In the bottom of the second, left fielder Richard Sullivan of Farmingdale broke broke the scoreless tie on a two out RBI single. Senior third baseman Sal Sanquini of Levittown would go on to hit an RBI single through the left side to increase the lead 2-0. Sanquini was 2-for-4 at the plate with a game-high of 3 RBIs.

The Island Trees varsity softball team had an amazing 8-3 win in extra innings on April 2nd against a previously unbeaten Clarke team to improve their league record to 2-0.  Ashley Melendez opened up the scoring with a solo homerun to lead off the 4th inning. 

 

Although the team relinquished the lead in the 4th and 5thinnings, they did not let the negative turn of events get the best of them.   Down one with three outs left, Sam Scharff led off the top of the 7th with an amazing bunt for a hit.  Christie Ciaramitaro and Kelly Cembrale both reached on errors to keep the inning and team’s hopes alive.  Morgan Petry roped an RBI single up the middle to score courtesy runner, Kim Ahrens with the tying run.   


Calendar

Bellmore FD Fundraiser - April 25

Earth Day Cleanup - April 26

Bowling For Scholars - April 26


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