Former Culver Resident Jean Sparks
May 17, 1929 – February 22, 2018
March 1, 2018
Jean Sparks, 88 of Montezuma, Iowa passed away Thursday morning, February 22, 2018 at the Grinnell Regional Medical Center. Venca Jean Sparks, the daughter of Roy and Mary (Marean) Shoesmith, was born on May 17, 1929 west of Guthrie Center.
Jean was raised on a family farm near Guthrie Center and then lived in Guthrie Center before moving to Des Moines following the death of her mother.
Jean was a 1947 graduate of North high school in Des Moines.
Following high school Jean worked for American Republic Life Insurance Company before relocating to Culver City with her family. Jean worked for several years at Wilshire Bank while living in California.
On August 10, 1957, Jean was united in marriage to Boyd Sparks at the Wayfarers Chapel in Portuguese Bend, California. To this union three children were born, Paul, Mary and Ruth. After they were married, Boyd and Jean moved back to the Guthrie Center area.
Jean was a typical farmer's wife, raising the chickens, milking the cows and everyday farm duties. Boyd and Jean lived in Grand Junction and Ogden, where they raised their children. While living in Ogden, Jean helped start the Food Pantry at the Community United Methodist Church. In 1985, they relocated to Montezuma and she worked for Roorda Transport for several years.
Family was very important to Jean. She was very supportive of her children and grandchildren and enjoyed attending all their activities and events. She was an avid reader, collected coins and stamps, and enjoyed gardening, sewing and cooking.
Jean took Lay Missioner classes at Simpson College and was able to preach and/or fill in for Boyd when he was gone. Jean was also very supportive of Boyd's ministry. She has always been a member of a Methodist Church, whether it was in Bayard, Grand Junction, Ogden and most recently a member of the Montezuma United Methodist Church. She was also a member of the United Methodist Women and the Montezuma Lion's Club.
Jean is survived by her husband, Boyd Sparks of Montezuma; her children: Paul (& DeeAnn) Sparks of Bloomington, IN, Mary (& Craig) Thompson of Johnston, IA and Ruth (& William) Staplin of Des Moines, IA; six grandchildren: Joshua (& Sara) Sparks, Soren Thompson, Eric Thompson, Carsten Thompson, Mary Staplin and Esther Staplin; a great grandson, Finley Sparks; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and six siblings: Marjorie Shoesmith, Marian D'Alessio, Max Shoesmith, Wilma Kuster, Aura Wall and Martha Glaesmer.
Story and Photo courtesy Oskaloosa News