Fallen Hero: Retired Staff Sergeant Rusty Lee Sparks


Funeral Home

Holland Funeral Directors



Private family services.


Military Service Tribute, Honors, and Obituary:

Recognizing and Honoring a Fallen Hero, Who Served Within the Mississippi National Guard. “Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten”.

In recognition of our proud American tradition of honorable service which our military men and women have given to their country and our State, we honor a Fallen Hero. Our nation, our state, and the National Guard Association of MS (NGAMS) regard the memorializing of its retired military deceased as an honorable and sacred obligation.

Another great Soldier and Fallen Hero has been released from duty, passed from our ranks on May 11, 2024, and has moved on to his heavenly home. Retired Staff Sergeant Rusty Lee Sparks, age 61, who had served within the MSARNG in Company D, 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment has departed and gone to a better place with our good Lord.

It takes a special person to serve within the military for their country, giving up their family time, comfort, and safety for their country, ultimately for all Americans to enjoy their freedoms, safety, and way of life. We now applaud you for your service to our country.  A special message from General Douglas McArthur remains applicable today for our servicemen that have passed: “Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away”.

Rest in Peace Soldier.  We applaud your patriotism, sacrifices, and brave efforts in serving our country and your family for their support of your service. We thank you for your service. Without your efforts and your families’ support, our country would not stand so boldly, shine so bright, and live so free.

You now have earned a rest, so go fly with the Angels, go rest high on that mountain; your work on earth is done. Go to heaven a-shoutin’ Love for the Father and the Son.

Another great Soldier has gone home, “Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten, Soldier for Life”.

Obituary, Visitation, and Service details:

Rusty Lee Sparks, aged 61, beloved husband and father, went into his Savior’s presence Saturday, May 11 at NMMC after a sudden illness. Rusty was a southern gentleman, a true family man, and a patriot. He had a love for history and studied it fervently. He adored his dogs, shooting guns with Son, and spending time with his family. He retired from the Army National Guard as a Sergeant, Crew Chief, Company D, 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation in 1996 before the birth of his baby girl as he did not want to miss anything with his children. He was an employee of North MS Health Services until his death where he served as a Senior Systems Administrator. He was a member of Hebron Church.

Survivors include his sweetheart and wife, Beverly Sparks of 28 1/2 years; his precious daughter, Grace Sparks and her fiancé, Forrest Timmons; his beloved son, Brenden Sparks; his father and mother, Jimmy and Nancy Sparks; his sister, Jennifer Merrell and her husband, Terry Merrell; his mother-in-law, Dolly Underwood and her husband, Mac Underwood; his two sisters- in-law, Carolyn Hammock and Scarlett Underwood; and his dogs, Jake, Barney, Maizy, and Ceaser.

The family will hold a private celebration of his life and legacy.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate online to the Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org or to the Disabled American Veterans at www.dav.org.