Jean Sparozic age 93, passed on Jan. 12, in West Newbury, MA, with residences in Port Washington and Huntington and Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Jean was the beloved husband of the late Joyce Dendievel Sparozic. Loving father of Jill Morrison, Suzy Sparozic and Wendy Dirkes. Adored grandfather of Jonathan and Ryan. Dear brother of Marie Gunderson. Reposing at Austin F. Knowles, Inc. Funeral Home, 128 Main St. Port Washington Friday, Jan. 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. Graveside service Saturday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. at Nassau Knolls Cemetery.
For more than 40 years, Jean was owner of Amoureuse Couture, a 7th Avenue Evening Gown Mfg. Amoureuse Couture in New York City, making glamorous custom formal gowns for such notables as Mamie Eisenhower, wife of the President, Opera singer, Beverly Sills, Kathryn Harken (wife of Zero Mostel), Rudy Giuliani’s second wife, Donna Hanover for President George H.W. Bush’s inauguration, a Saudi Prince’s daughter, Rose Mary Clooney, amongst celebrity clients, with a Fashion Show at Studio 54 in it’s hey day, as well, sold gowns to such stores as Saks, Hirshleifer’s on Miracle Mile, and many more around the country. Before opening his own company, Jean worked with Bill Blass and Oleg Cassini amongst other notable fashion industry giants.
He was a French Merchant Marine and made 32 trips across the Atlantic to U.S.A. during World War II.
Jean’s life began on Sept. 3, 1926 in Masny, France. As a child, he was educated at a convent with his sister and his mother, a devout Catholic who had high hopes he would enter the seminary, but Jean had other ideas and wanted to become a merchant sea captain and see the world. At 16, that dream became a reality when he joined the French Merchant Marines during World War II, making close to 40 trips to the United States and other ports of call. Many times the ships carried American soldiers and supplies back to war torn France and other sea ports. He would never forget seeing the Statue of Liberty, its symbol of freedom.
While in New York City, during his free time, he would visit the USO French Canteen, where he met his future bride, Joyce Dendievel, a beautiful, young British and French fashion designer. Joyce was fluent in French, she was a volunteer at the canteen for the war effort. Jean had tickets to Radio City Christmas Show and the romance bloomed. Joyce was smitten with Jean’s french accent and Johnny Depp good looks. After several trips back and forth to France, at 19 years old, Jean decided he wanted to make a life with Joyce in the United State, and they were married. Not knowing English, it was rough at first finding work.
After moving to Port Washington to live with Joyce and her family, Jean worked for a time at Shield’s Plumbing. The couple moved to New York City and he would find himself working at the Waldorf Astoria in the kitchen, until he visited Joyce’s company, and she helped him find work in the garment district. He became fascinated with the pattern makers, and started taking night courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he became proficient in pattern making and tops in his field. At this point, in 1958, Joyce had become a mother to the three girls, and she had saved enough to buy a home. In 1966, he started Amoureuse Couture, and the rest is history. He continued taking courses of all sorts well into his fifties. Jean didn’t retire until he was in his 80s, acting as a consultant and head pattern maker for other firms in New York City’s Garment Center, including Land’s End, and other top brands.
Around this time, Jean also was able to help bring his mother, step-father, sister and her children from Algiers which was war torn from French Algerian War at the time, to live in Port Washington, as well.
Jean was an avid sailor, and kept his boat moored at the Port Washington Town Dock, taking his family out sailing and fishing. The couple had spent many summer’s in Montauk camping and fishing, as well. Jean’s other love was restoring old Mercedes Benz in his spare time, well into his eighties and traveling. He will be sorely missed.