After a brave four-year neurological struggle, Darren Silversparre, 49, passed away peacefully at Glendale Adventist Hospital, surrounded by family and many friends on Monday, Feb. 9, 2009. He was a resident of La Crescenta, graduate of Crescenta Valley High School in 1978, and after training at West Valley Occupational Center, he worked as a mechanic in La Cañada Flintridge.
Working at Dave Silversparre’s Union Service at Angeles Crest Highway and Foothill Blvd for 31 years with his father, he enjoyed the art of auto mechanics, provided excellent service to his customers, and fostered confidence in all business relationships. It was obvious in the repeat customers that he influenced everyone, who met him from young-to-old, client-to-auto part supplier, and were left with a positive impression.
So what were his passions? Healthy running and his faith. After a false diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 1995 and treatment for it for over a year, Darren proclaimed with vigor, “Not only will I walk again, but I will run.” He did just that, joining two different running groups and competing in numerous full and half marathons, including one in Maui and his dream of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC.
He cherished the camaraderie of the Los Feliz Flyers, a Pasadena-based running organization, and training with a specific group known as the TOGS (The Other Group). They were the ones who ran for fun, dined as friends, and enjoyed themselves fully. True friendships were formed, they got stronger as the years passed, and many were at his side until the end.
Darren’s Catholic faith has always been a positive influence in his life. His devotion to Our Lady of the Lourdes Church in Tujunga included being a Eucharistic Minister, a Knight of Columbus, and his continuous involvement at church functions. During football season, he also volunteered at Saint Francis High School where his son, Ryan, received an excellent education. His faith in God got him and his family through trying times. As with his running, he never gave up.
Darren was a loving and devoted husband to Gay and father to Ryan. He is also survived by his parents, Dave and Myra; brothers Daryl and David Michael; numerous family members and many friends.
We will miss his loyalty, generosity, sense of fun, good humor sportsmanship, strength, faith and positive outlook on life.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 10321 Tujunga Canyon Blvd., Tujunga, with internment at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made by check to Darren’s medical team who went to great lengths — the “UC Regents” — and make a note in the memo section “Darren Silversparre Episodic Ataxia Memorial Fund” and mail to UCLA Neuro-otology Program, c/o Medical Sciences Development, P. O. Box 951784, Los Angeles, 90095.