Richard Sparapani

IRON MOUNTAIN – Richard Allen (Ric) Sparapani, 68, of Iron Mountain, died Saturday, June 21, 2014, at Dickinson County Hospital following an extended illness.

Ric was born on Sept. 16, 1945, in Iron Mountain, the son of the late Victor and Jean (Peterson) Sparapani. He was baptized and confirmed at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Iron Mountain. Ric attended Breitung Township schools and was a graduate of Kingsford High School, class of 1963. After high school, he attended trade school and took numerous courses related to his field of work.

He married Barbara (Fontecchio) on Sept. 14, 1966, in Milwaukee.

Ric spent his entire working life in the manufacturing/construction field.

He lived and worked in Calvert City, Ken. and Milwaukee before he and Barbara returned to Iron Mountain in 1970 where he pursued his life-long dream of owning his own business. He owned and operated Customer Metal Fabrication in Iron Mountain, along with other partners.

Ric was a lifetime member of the Kiwanis Ski Club, a member of the B.P.O. Elks and various professional/business organizations. He loved spending time at his camp and was an avid outdoorsman hunting and fishing year-round.

Ric loved building and carpentry. His home woodshop was a favorite gathering place for friends and family, especially during the autumn rite of making his dago red wine. He was a Packer fan and enjoyed watching baseball.

Ric loved anything that had to do with ski-jumping, having done some ski-jumping himself as a young man. But, mostly, Ric loved the Pine Mountain ski jump competition. Under his stewardship, the Pine Mountain ski jump has undergone decades of modernization to stay at the forefront of world class ski jumping. Sometimes, much to his family’s chagrin, he was

consumed by the preparations for the annual event. He loved the celebration atmosphere and being with his ski club buddies.

Finally, Ric’s greatest joy in life was the pride he had for his son’s academic and professional accomplishments; he felt that he and Barbara had done well as parents!

Richard Allen Sparapani is survived by his wife, Barbara of Iron Mountain; son, Dr. Rodney A. (Karen) Sparapani of Brookfield, Wis.; granddaughters, Isabella and Katie. He is also survived by his sisters; Lee Ann (Glenn) Goodman of Kingsford, Darleen Smith of Norway, and Christine “Cookie” (Jim) Beauchamp of Quinnesec; his mother-in-law, Louise Fontecchio of Niagara; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Ric was also blessed to have good friends and was a good friend to them. Family and friends knew that Ric could be counted on for help with projects or moral support. He will be missed.

Ric was preceded in death by his parents, his one brother, Jerry (Carol) Sparapani; and his father-in-law, Isadore Fontecchio.

A private family service will be held on Friday in respect of Ric’s wishes, with the Rev. David Anderson officiating.

A memorial will be established in his memory.

Condolences to the family of Richard “Ric” Sparapani may be expressed online at

The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home and Cremation Services with the funeral arrangements.