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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

A group of Levittown parents are voicing their concerns with letting their children walk to school, since it would mean they would continue to cross Hempstead Turnpike.

 

“My kid has to cross [Hempstead Tpke.] daily without a crossing guard,” said Division Avenue parent Wendy Lantigua. 

 

For Lantigua and others, the dangers of Hempstead Turnpike became all to real after 13-year-old Brianna Soplin was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, last June. Not to mention the fact that another 14-year-old Levittown student suffered multiple injuries after being struck in hit-and-run, last February. 

On Sept. 14, Hempstead town officials joined family and friends of fallen New York City paramedic Rudy Havelka, to unveil the re-dedication of Birch Lane in Levittown. 

While surviving the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Havelka wou ld later die of an illness related to his service at Ground Zero.


Sports

The annual One Love Long Island (OLLI) Yoga Festival takes place at the Sands Point Preserve on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. All profits will be donated to organizations that support survivors of human trafficking, locally and globally. 

 

The festival will unite 16 Long Island yoga studio communities in a round robin of the traditional yogic practice of 108 Sun Salutations from 9:30 a.m. to noon, whose offerings will look to create long-term and sustainable solutions to eradicate the human trafficking epidemic by raising funds and awareness for the cause.  

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

 

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Calendar

IT Board of Ed - September 17

All Star Comedy - September 18

Irreversible Paul Lynde - September 19


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