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Born in 1962, Sparkman started aikido in college with Dennis Hooker in Orlando, FL. He returned to Nashville after college to open his own dojo there. In 2005, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor (brain-stem glioma). Upon receiving the diagnosis, Sparkman said, "Even though I cannot move as well as I used to, I still want to help others. I'll keep doing this until I can't anymore."
My condolences go out to his family, friends, students, and loved ones.