Picture for John Sparrow

John Sparrow

04/06/1933 - 21/03/2020

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Due to current restrictions on people's movements, a private funeral will be held.

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In memory of

John Sparrow

Sir John Sparrow died peacefully in Milton Keynes University Hospital on 21st March 2020 aged 86 years, adored husband of Cynthia.

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Sir Jeremy Elwes

posted 25/03/2020

I was privileged to know John Sparrow as a fellow Liveryman of the Stationers Company and, in particular to work with him when he chaired a working party that recommended major changes to the Livery Committee. He was a brilliant Chairman and a delightful companion, especially at a meal. Just a few years ago, I asked him if he was going to be at a Civic Dinner - his response: "I don't do grand dinners any more, but I am an excellent luncher!"
He will be sorely missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.

Sir Graeme Davies

posted 25/03/2020

Dear Cynthia
It was with the greatest sadness that I read the notice of John's death in the Times this morning. He was a good and great man who contributed so much to so many. I deeply valued his friendship and treasure the memories of working with him and celebrating our Old Codgers lunches over the many years since he hosted our first get-together on 23 November 2007. His humour and knowledge were a delight. I know full well what a wonderful husband and support he was to you over the many years that you were together. He will be very much missed. With best wishes at this sad time. I send love and supporting thoughts,

Peter Cadbury

posted 25/03/2020

Dear Cynthia
Sally and I were very sad to read about John's death but understand that life had been difficult for him for some time.
I was very lucky to have 27 years at Morgan Grenfell where John was one of my special mentors in the days when bankers were good and the culture worthy.
A group of us about 10 years younger than John were given our heads at a pretty young age and were very much inspired by the generation ahead of us.
We will always treasure the friendship and leadership he gave combined with a lovely sense of humour.
You are very much in our thoughts at this time, and sorry that this dreadful virus may rob us of an occasion to remember him and celebrate all that he did.
With our love
Peter and Sally

Lord Shuttleworth

posted 25/03/2020

Dear Cynthia, I was so sorry to see news of John's death in the paper this morning. We worked together at National & Provincial Building Society in Bradford and have had many enjoyable annual reunion lunches since. John was an outstanding non-executive director, thoughtful, thorough, experienced, supportive and sometimes very amusing.He taught me a lot and I had the greatest respect and admiration for him. Ann joins me in sending you our best wishes at a sad moment. Charles

dudley allan

posted 26/03/2020

heartfelt sympathy and condolences from marion and dudley allan from western australia
dudley worked with john from 1967-69 and he was a wonderful, kind, able and helpful work colleague

John Bunner

posted 26/03/2020

I'm so sorry to learn of John's death. He was such a personable man, despite working at a very high level in business, he always had time and showed a keen interest in his subordinates. When I left Morgan Grenfell, he was one of a very few Directors who wrote a personal letter to me. Always fondly remembered and respected./

William Alden

posted 26/03/2020

On behalf of the Master and all Sir John's fellow Stationers, including myself, I send our heartfelt condolences. Sir John was a distinguished, loved and respected Liveryman of the Stationers' Company and we were very proud that he was an old boy of the Stationers' Company's School in North London. We will miss him.

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Richard Webb

posted 26/03/2020

I was so sorry to hear of your passing. You were one of the great men in the Morgan Grenfell corporate finance department and one for whom I had the greatest respect.
Not only were you a superb practitioner, but a genuinely nice man and a great mentor. Happy memories.

Brenda Reed

posted 26/03/2020

I spent many happy years working as Sir John's personal assistant at Morgan Grenfell in the 70's. I worked for him during the period he acted as City adviser to Mrs. Thatcher - who I will always remember as Mrs. T Hatcher - which is how he always referred to her. I moved to the States in 1987 but managed to stay in touch with Sir John, and met him for lunch in England several times when I visited. I remember him as being incredibly smart, albeit a bit stubborn on "modern gadgetry" i.e. computers, amazingly well informed about most everything, and with a great love of racing, and a wonderful sense of humor. He was a good human being. I was not only sad to hear he had passed, but shocked, as I felt he was someone who would just go on forever. Sad time

Barbara J Kneller (n. Dietrich)

posted 27/03/2020

I worked for many years as secretary to the Company Secretary at Morgan Grenfell. I was so sad to hear of his death and have happy memories of him. He was always a gentleman, serious sometimes but funny. I send my condolences to everyone, family and friends.

John Hipkin

posted 27/03/2020

John and I were at the LSE together in 1953/4. We frequently met with others for coffee in the refrectory where John would beguile us with a finely honed wit. Our table was also a cauldron of debate from which it emerged that John's conservatism had not in the least been tarnished by LSE leftism. Because he was a couple of years above me our college relationship lasted for only a year or so. However our relationship was renewed over fifty years later when we met together with Michael Thomas and Robert Johnson every couple of months for lunch and conversation at the Garrick. The passing years had in no measure blunted John's wit or diminished his political commitment. I shall remember those lunches with joy and thankfulness for as long as I live and John played a huge part in their easeful pleasantness.
At the most recent of our Garrick get togethers I had felt that John was not entirely with us - that his thoughts were elsewhere. Of course, he was thinking of Cynthia and anxious to return to her.
I am proud and happy to have enjoyed John's friendship in the two seasons of my life: spring and autumn.
My condolences go out to Cynthia and family members.

Martin Randall

posted 27/03/2020

Sir John,
It was a pleasure to enjoy your company for many years at Stationers’ Hall.
May you Rest in Peace.
Martin Randall

Peter Dwerryhouse

posted 27/03/2020

Dear Cynthia, I was so sorry to read in the newspaper that John had died. I spent many happy days with John in Morgan Grenfell, and enjoyed our lunches together after his retirement. He was a most interesting and talented person, and I always enjoyed his company.
His death will be a severe loss for you, and I send my condolences.
Yours sincerely
Peter ( Dwerryhouse)

Simon Doughty (Clerk of The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor)

posted 28/03/2020

On behalf of all members of The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor, I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Sir John
Sparrow. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. We are honoured that Sir John had been a member of the Society of Knights Bachelor since 1984.

Alan Unerman

posted 28/03/2020

John was a year ahead of me at Stationers but we got to know each other in the 6th form. He was always interesting to talk with and during our times as OS's we had many interesting discussions. I am sure that he will be severely missed and I offer my condolences to you all at the sad news of his passing.

Judy Lancaster

posted 28/03/2020

I shall always remember John with great affection as an extremely kind and courteous man, with a twinkle in his eye, a pipe in his hand - we met nearly 40 years ago, when I joined Morgan Grenfell - and a love of cricket: but he was also a man of formidable intellect and ability, and great integrity. People with his qualities are rare, and I feel very lucky to have known him.

Rev Brian Cranwell

posted 28/03/2020

Sir John Sparrow, Old Stationer, class of ’44
A few years ago I published an autobiography of my years in Anglican Ministry “From the Diaries of an Urban Rev”. I gave a copy to each member attending the Annual lunch of the class at the RAF Club, When I gave one to John I already knew, as he had already made it clear, that he did not subscribe to the Christian Faith, but he accepted a copy.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised a few weeks later to receive a handwritten letter from John commending the book and saying how surprised he was at the ranges of community involvement and activities such a role involved and commending my writing .
It was, I believe a typical example of John’s graciousness and wide interests to take the trouble to write such a commendation. I was both grateful and encouraged. John will be missed
Rev Brian R Cranwell MSc MPhil, Sheffield

William Croydon

posted 28/03/2020

John was a good friend over many years. We were at Stationers in the same years '44 to '49 and years later when my son David was boarding at Cobham, John, as a fellow parent, roped me into fund-raising activities. We have lost a very good man who, quite apart from his professional life, translated his deep affection for stationers school by leading activities associated with the expansion and success of Stationers at Cobham.

Nigel Wade

posted 28/03/2020

Sir John will be remembered as a Past President and stalwart member of the Old Stationers' Association. I had the privilege of chatting to him on a few occasions at OSA lunches. He brought honour on himself, and the school, by the award of a knighthood for public services. He lived a full professional and public life which included the \Chairmanship of a subcommittee of the Horserace Betting Levy Board, and the Vice Chairmanship of the LSE Court of Governors.He will be sadly missed.

Margaret Slinn

posted 29/03/2020

Dear Cynthia and family, It was with great sadness that I learnt today that John had died.I was expecting this news because our usual exchange of letters at Christmas went unanswered.John was a great letter writer! John was a great friend of my husband Terry Slinn although John was a year above they walked to school together and enjoyed the OS Football .We met regularly the four of us for lunches in London right until Cynthia went into a nursing home. I remember the wonderful party John organised to celebrate his 81st birthday at the Goring Hotel,he said the most important person at a wake wasn’t present so he decided to get all his friends together whilst he could. He must have known! Sadly my husband Terry predeceased John by only three months he died in January this year. so Cynthia I understand your loss. you were the perfect partner for John and had a wonderful life together with great memories to sustain you . This is sent with all my love ,Marg xx

Neville Cusworth

posted 29/03/2020

We just want to send our deepest sympathy at this sad time.

Keith Prior

posted 29/03/2020

Dear Cynthia, I was sadden to learn last Wednesday that John had died and send my condolences to you and your family. When I last spoke to him he sounded unwell and said that he would call me when he felt better. Alas not to be! He was a good friend and we had known each other for over 50 years, in the City and through Cricket. He will be sadly missed.

Sir Alan Cox

posted 29/03/2020

Rosamund and I were very sad to hear of John's passing and send all our condolences to Cynthia and family. I'm proud to say he was one of my mentors and supporter and friend. To me as a CEO he was a great non-executive director to be privileged to work with as over many years we shared strategic business issues and decision taking. We became friends and Rosamund and I loved our time with Cynthia and John particularly at Cheltenham and over long conversations with good food and wine. He told us once that if Cynthia ever mentioned a grey runner to back it and we did!! He was a great man and wonderful company and we were proud and delighted to have know him and them both together for around 30 years Much love Alan and Rossix

Geoffrey D Dunstan

posted 30/03/2020

Dear Cynthia,
I was very upset and sad to learn of John's passing - as were many of our mutual Morgan Grenfellians out here in Australia.

John was a great personal friend, even from a distance - and your joint Christmas cards and commentary were a feature of each year. since 1968 when I had the wonderful experience of working with John.

Sadly missed.

I will miss John greatly

Tony Mash

posted 30/03/2020

I will always be grateful to John for the support and guidance he gave me in relation to the Old Stationers' Association and the Stationers' Company. He recognised, as I do, the importance of the way in which our school prepared us for life, and gave us all a chance to succeed we might not have otherwise had. I will miss our regular lunches with the other Apostles. I loved his sharp wit, amusing stories and perceptive analysis of the politics of the day. He was a class act. Thank you, John.
Tony Mash

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Denzil Sharp

posted 30/03/2020

Sir John was generous, far-sighted and unfailingly helpful as a Liveryman of Stationers'. His advice was always brimming with common sense and practicality and I will always value the help he gave. Denzil Sharp, Clerk/Stationers' Company, 1996-2010

Michael Dobson

posted 30/03/2020

My condolences on the passing of a great man. A distinguished career and an inspiring boss who I remember well after 40 years.

Mark Ayres And Lisa Ayres

posted 30/03/2020

We are so sad to hear of Sir Johns passing . A wonderful man that always took time to chat with his neighbours and assist with projects in the village of Padbury. We will all miss him dearly. Sending our love to Cynthia.

Carol Swannell

posted 31/03/2020

God bless

Miles Littlewort

posted 01/04/2020

So sorry to learn of John’s passing with love to Cynthia and we shall raise a glass to his memory and the many happy times we passed together in Newmarket and latterly here in Wales.
Miles and Barbara Littlewort.

Dr. Susan Volker

posted 01/04/2020

On behalf of the James family, lately of Manor Farm, Padbury, Buckingham.
Our sincere condolences to Lady Cynthia and to all John’s family.
John was a good friend and neighbour and we shall miss him and his cheery smile.

Frank Pearce

posted 03/04/2020

Deepest sympathies from a fellow Old Stationer who joined the school in 1958 till 1962

John Miles

posted 03/04/2020

Dear Cynthia and family,
As a member of John's year at Stationers School in Hornsey, I was saddened to read of John's death. He was a founder member and stalwart of our class of 44 annual reunions in the RAF Club, Piccadilly, and, indeed often sponsored the event. Other members of the lunch club have asked to join me in expressing our regret at your loss. Yours Aye, John T Miles

Fiona Campion

posted 04/04/2020

Dear Cynthia,
We were so very sorry to learn the sad news of John’s death. John and my father (Stuart) were friends from their City days (and I believe enjoyed good lunches!) and he joins us in sending our deepest condolences to you and your family. John was a wonderful boss and Chairman in very happy days at HBLB in the late 1990s, and it was a pleasure and privilege being a junior part of his team there. The whole of racing were very fortunate to benefit from John’s great intellect, wisdom, diplomacy, humour, warmth, and a great kindness and sense of fair play, at a time of pivotal change in racing.
We moved away from the south and although I had not seen John for several years we kept regularly in touch, and had feared that all might not be well not having heard from him at Christmas.
With all thoughts and good wishes, particularly at this time.
Fiona and Mark (Campion) and Stuart (Wamsley)

Robert Hughes

posted 04/04/2020

My deepest sympathy to Sir John's wife and family. Our common bond is that we are both Old Stationers. I admired the dedication John gave to all activities of the OSA and well remember, only recently, reading an article about a reunion lunch for his year which he clearly was pleased to attend. Friendship, until time shall bring all of us home.

Alex Turner

posted 14/04/2020

Just heard the sad news. Gosh he looks like Grandpa in that picture! x

Michael Brady

posted 16/04/2020

It was with great sadness Cynthia that Sandra and I learned of John's death. We both remember happy lunches with you both at the Manoir and latterly at the Waterside Inn with warm fondness.
John and I were lucky to have shared our school, membership of the OSA and it's Presidency and membership of the Apostles. And, John kindly proposed my membership of the Livery.
I am keen to write a suitable obituary for inclusion in the Old Stationer magazine and would be grateful for contact with John's stepson by email to that end.
Very sincerely, Michael.

Bonnie and Les Duff

posted 16/04/2020

A true gentleman and wonderful neighbour. Sincere condolences to Lady Cynthia and family.

Ian Coxhill

posted 21/04/2020

I was saddened to hear of the unexpected death of my cousin John. He was a man of towering intellect and knowledge. I will miss his dry, subtle humour. Although I will always be able to picture him with his pipe. Rest in peace John your innings is over, your race is run.

John Noble

posted 21/04/2020

I was saddened to hear of John's death. We were colleagues together at LSE from 1951-54 and I always admired him.
My sympathies go to Cynthia and his family.

Peter Coxhill

posted 22/04/2020

I was concerned as I had not heard from you. So had been phoning and leaving messages which were unanswered. It was a shock to learn of your death from cousin Martin.
You were only 3 months younger than me, we shared a lot of our childhood together, playing in the woods, building dams in the streams and getting into mischief at family parties. You were always good fun to be with whether you were 6 or 86.
I and my wife Patricia will greatly miss you.

Frances Pike

posted 30/04/2020

So sad to hear of John's death. He was a kind, witty, wise and generous man for whom I had the pleasure of working as his personal secretary at both USS and HBLB. He also had a great talent for being a good friend.
My love and sincere condolences are sent to you.

Fred Merz

posted 02/05/2020

Dear Cynthia,
I was so sorry to have heard from Chris of John’s death.
I remember the day in 1968 when I met you and John for the first time. John’s appearance with his way of live, his sense of humour and his behaviour was for me at this time, as a unworldly young man, the image of a typical Englishman. It is a privilege for me to have met John. I also will never forget your hospitality.
Dear Cynthia, I wish you many fond memories of your caring husband.
In thoughts with you I embrace you and wish you all the best