Wednesday, March 4, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
To the Family
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A nurturing, kindhearted, and gracious woman, Margaret Sparks was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She could be feisty at times, but she was also a very passionate woman who stood firm in the things and people she believed in. A more loving and devoted mother would be hard to find, and there was nothing Margaret loved more than providing a warm and loving environment that was welcoming to everyone who came to her home. She was never one to let things get the best of her, and in everything that came her way she remained content and thankful for each new day. As her family and friends can attest, there was nothing like Margaret’s cooking, and no one ever left her place hungry. A blessing in the lives of everyone she met, she will be deeply missed while her memory remains a lasting treasure in the hearts and lives of all who were blessed to feel her touch.
Although WWII gained momentum overseas as the 1940s dawned, America remained uninvolved while still trying to recover from the devastating effects of the Great Depression. Things were looking better as the unemployment rate was falling while the average American held fast to the hope that prosperity would one day grace our great land. It was as the beauty of the summer season began to unfold in the city of Comstock, Michigan, in June of 1940 that Harry and LaVonne (Rinker) McCormick were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Margaret drew her first breath on June 18th in nearby Kalamazoo. She was the youngest of nine children in her family including her siblings, Richard, Evelyn, Patrick, James, Melford, Alfred, Robert, and Daniel.
Even at a young age Margaret had a certain spunk about her. It has been said that she could be a bit of a stinker who also knew how to find her fair share of mischief. Margaret’s father was a jack of all trades who worked as a mortician and was also a railman at one point while her mother had more than enough to keep her busy at home. She was a student at local schools including Kalamazoo Central High School, and although she didn’t complete her education at that time she later earned her GED. When she was 18 Margaret moved in with one of her brothers to help him take care of his children.
Just a young girl, life was forever changed for Margaret when she met the man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Dewey Sparks, and he had just returned from serving in the military. His mother worked in a local grocery store where Margaret’s family went to buy groceries, and their two families became friends. Sparks flew from the moment they met at Margaret’s home, and the rest is history as they say. When she was 19, Margaret and Dewey were married in the late fifties. Together they were blessed with the births of four children, Sherry, Peggy, Robert, and Bonnie. From the moment she became a mother Margaret fully immersed herself in the role, and she was deeply devoted to her family for the rest of her life.
With Margaret at the helm, life was a bustle of activity in the Sparks home. With a special place in her heart for animals, Margaret always had several pets around, always at least one dog. In fact, she was known for taking in animals from the woods and domesticating them — even a skunk! As a family they took trips to Kentucky and New Orleans to visit family. Margaret’s skills in the kitchen were unmatched whether she was cooking or baking, and among the family favorites were her roasts and amazing holiday spreads each year. Her door was always open and her table was always full, and she made sure there was more than enough to go around. She had the most amazing green thumb with a beautiful garden and flowers, and she loved spending time out there keeping everything looking its best. Most years Margaret also canned much of what she grew.
Later in life there was nothing that Margaret loved more than watching her family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones who were her greatest source of pride and joy. Altogether she was blessed with 11 grandchildren, and she was an active part of their lives. Being with her grandchildren made Margaret’s face light up, and it was clear that she loved doting over them whenever she could.
Throughout her life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Margaret Sparks was an extraordinary woman to know and love. She was the sort of person whom everyone seemed to know, and there was no greater blessing in her life than her family. Margaret will never be forgotten.
Margaret Sparks, of Plainwell, died on March 1, 2015, at the Borgess Methodist Hospital. Margaret’s family includes her children: Peggy Lynn (Steve J. Byers) Sparks, Robert Earl (Gina White) Sparks, Bonnie LaVonne (Dave) Russell; 11 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren; a sister Evelyn Jane as well as several nieces and nephews. Margaret was preceded in death by her husband, Dewey F. Sparks; daughter, Sherry Ann Shook; 6 siblings: Richard, Evelyn, Patrick, James Melford, Alfred; grandchildren: Jeffery, Annette, Nathan, Shaun. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Wednesday, March 4 from 4:00-7:00 at the Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 Woodhams St. (685-5881). A funeral will be held on Thursday, March 5 at 11:00 a.m. at the same location. Please visit Margaret’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online before coming to funeral home.