Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Francis Sparolini ’34 son of a pioneer Monterey family, passed away peacefully on May 15, 2009 at his home in Carmel with his family at his side. He was 97. He was a highly respected member of the community where he was born, grew up and owned and operated Sparolini Distributing Company. Francis’ father, John A. Sparolini, first came to Monterey in 1884 from Lugano, Switzerland. His mother, the former Frances Lander, came to Monterey from Germany in 1893. The Sparolinis were married in 1899. After graduating from San Carlos parochial school and Monterey High School, he was graduated from Santa Clara University in 1934. He served as Captain, Transportation Corps, in the Army of the United States and was honorably discharged in 1953. Francis married Aili Orava in 1943 and they enjoyed a very happy and wonderful marriage until her death in 1974. Francis and Aili were blessed with three beautiful children, Susan, James and Catherine. In 1976, Francis married Laverne Kahl Storm and they shared many memorable years together until her death in 2007. Perhaps the most signal honor to come his way occurred in 1964 when he was elected a Director of First National Bank of Monterey, the oldest bank in Monterey County. It was a position his father held shortly after the bank’s organization. Francis was extremely active in community affairs and his true passion was his family, the Catholic Church, his friends and golf. Francis loved the game of golf and first learned as a young lad caddying at Pebble Beach and Old Del Monte Golf Club. In 1940, he became a member of Monterey Peninsula Country Club. He later was elected to the Board of MPCC and served as President in 1969. He played golf regularly throughout his long membership. He was a member of the Wednesday Odd Lotters group, a high-spirited group whose afternoon golf was foreshadowed by the boisterous 19th hole aftermath where winners gloat over their competitors and all joyfully relive recent history on the links. Francis is predeceased by his son, James and is survived by his daughters, Susan LaVarnway (Charles) and Catherine Sparolini; his daughter-in-law, Kathryn; grandchildren, Sonia and Stephen Sparolini and stepson, Chris Storm; and many nieces and nephews. So whether you knew him as Francis, Fran, Frank, F.J., Frannie, Sparo, Sperry, Mr. Sparolini, Uncle, Grandpa, or Dad, he has left a deep, lasting impression on each person fortunate to have him in their life.