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Griffin Chapel

Floral 06


Jean Carolyn (Pressley) Sparrow

November 18, 1927 ~ March 11, 2019 (age 91)

Jean Pressley Sparrow age 91 of Chapel Hill passed away Monday, March 11, 2019.   She was born in Asheville, NC and was the daughter of the late Mary Pauline Pearson Pressley and Floyd James Pressley, Sr.  After high school Jean moved to Chapel Hill, where she lived her entire adult life.

Over her career, Jean worked at UNC Memorial Hospital and with the Chapel Hill City Schools, but will be remembered by the many teenagers whom she counseled and mentored as the director of the Chapel Hill recreation department “teen” program throughout the 1960’s.  During her tenure she ran facilities that provided a place for teenagers to come after school to hang out with friends, listen to music, and play games.  On weekends she organized and supervised dances featuring local bands, including the Corsairs which featured James Taylor on guitar with his brother Alex on lead vocals.

Jean loved music having grown up singing in church and later with a female country quartet.  Music was always present in her home.  Jean was also involved in a variety of community and service organizations including Beta Sigma Phi sorority.  She also loved playing cards with her dear friends and participating in ‘Red Hat’ society meetings and luncheons.  Jean enjoyed travelling with her late husband, Donald Sparrow, Sr., and close friends.  Usually these trips were to visit family members in upstate New York, or the mountains and beaches of North and South Carolina.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Donald Sparrow, Sr., her son Ronald Crabtree, Tim Cummins and her brothers Floyd J. Pressley, Jr. of Asheville and William (Bill) E. Pressley of Chapel Hill. 

Jean is survived by her sons, Donald Sparrow, Jr. and wife Kalla of Annapolis, MD, Russell Sparrow and wife Lisa of Surf City, David Sparrow and wife Stephanie, of Chapel Hill, and Richard Sparrow, and Edward Sparrow of Chapel Hill.  She is also survived by her 10 grandchildren - Donald, Rebekah Shack, Jeffrey, Emily Shack, William, Brian, Daniel, David, Gabriel, Luke and her 12 great grandchildren – Elias, Madeleine, Faith, Tallulah, Mckenna, Penelope, River, Miles, Logan, Sparrow, Elliott, and Zoe.  Jean will be terribly missed by all family and special family friends Ann Lord Sparrow, Kathy Nixon Sparrow, Judi Durham and Eve Sparrow Bradshaw.  Jean will be especially missed by her lifelong surviving friends Shirley Durham, Margaret Jernigan, Betty Allison and Syble Skakle.  She will also be missed by a multitude of extended family and friends throughout the Chapel Hill area.

Funeral services will be conducted Friday, March 15, 2019, at noon, at Amity United Methodist Church.  Following the service, family will receive friends at a reception at the church followed by burial in the Westwood Cemetery in Carrboro.

Serving as pallbearers will be Tim Pressley, Jay Cole, Jeffrey Sparrow, David Forbes, Will Sparrow, and David F. Sparrow.  Honorary pallbearers are Lindy Sparrow, Gary Pressley, and Fred Brent.

Flowers and online memorials may be made at

Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation is honored to serve Sparrow family.

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