It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to one of the founding partners of McLean, Koehler, Sparks and Hammond. George Oliver Sparks Jr. passed away on October 12, 2017, at the age of 97. He made Windsor his home for most of his life.
After World War II, George earned his JD from the University of Maryland and then joined with Bill McLean and Frederick Koehler who were already practicing accounting together in Baltimore. Together, they expanded the Firm to Westminster and then later to Frederick when Bill Hammond joined the firm. One of George’s first clients was Foster Brothers Manufacturing Company. While completing his formal education, Bill Hammond worked for Foster Brothers as an accountant. Through their working relationship, George and Bill became friends and that is how Bill Hammond came to join the Firm. Coincidentally, during the war, both George and Bill were B-25 pilots in the Army Air Corps. Long after they became friends, George and Bill discovered that they had been part of the same medium bomb group. Although they didn’t know each other at the time, George and Bill were stationed at the same airstrip in Feni, India (now Bangledesh) from 1944 to 1945. George was released from the Army at the age of 75 with the rank of Captain.
For 28 years, during his free time, George taught accounting at Johns Hopkins and served as a member/chairman of the Maryland State Board of Certified Professional Accountants. After his retirement from the firm in 1991, George and his wife Beth spent an extensive amount of time traveling.
George came back for the MKS&H firm meeting in 2013 for the seventieth anniversary; he spent some time with the staff and spoke about what it was like starting an accounting firm in Baltimore in the 1940’s. He was, at that time, the only surviving founding partner of the four. He was known as a business developer, being outgoing and well connected in the business community.
George was an admirable man who will be missed. All of us at MKS&H wish to express our deep condolences to George’s family, friends, and all who knew and were affected by him and his work.