Genevieve SparksJuly 7, 1922 ~ May 19, 2017 (age 94)
Eva Genevieve Sparks, 94, of Ames, and formerly of Chariton, IA, passed away on Friday, May 19, 2017 at Northridge Village in Ames.
Genevieve was born to Glenn Adam Peterson and Opal Ocie (Smith) Peterson on July 7, 1922 in a farmhouse in Lucas County, IA. She graduated from Burlington High School and lived in houses in Mediapolis and West Burlington, IA, and eventually back to a farmhouse west of Chariton, IA.
Genevieve married Clyde Gale Sparks on December 14, 1944 in Princeton, MO. They celebrated sixty-one years of marriage. Together they served as a pastor and wife in several communities in Missouri and Iowa. Livonia, Adrian, Crescent Hill, Barker, Brashear, and Kirksville were in Missouri and Ventura, Van Meter, Booneville, Scranton, Ralston, Dows, Alexander, Sharon Chapel, Humeston, and Columbia were in Iowa. Their Lucas County farm became their home in 1987 and was always a special place to them.
Together Genevieve and Clyde raised four children, Glenna, Della, Daniel, and Opal. Their children's spouses include Bill Bents, Jim Crock, Doug Phelps, Vickie Cook Sparks, and Steven Hibbs. Their twelve grandchildren are Barbara Crock (MI), Joan Crock Garner (IA), Leo Crock (IA), Jeremy Bents (IA), Justin Sparks (OR), Ryan Crock (IA), Timothy Sparks (OR), Jessica Bents Odell (IL), Andrew Sparks (OR), Lance Hibbs (MO), Katelyn Sparks(OR), and Amanda Sparks Kizziar (OR). Genevieve's grandchilden's spouses are Michelle Scheidt, Drew Garner, Lori Driscoll Crock, Katie Bryant Bents, Jennifer Springstead Sparks, Molly Pisarik Crock, Ashley Larson Sparks, Curtis Odell, Amanda Mitchell Sparks, and Thomas Kizziar. Twenty-seven great grandchildren were her delight: Austin, Rebecca, Lindsay, Leah, Sage, James, Brody, Luke, Julia, Logan, Cade, Corbin, Bailey, Joel, Celeste, Glory, Caleb, Rylan, Natalie, Rylee, Zebulun, Callie, Ethan, Alyssa, Brendon, Serenity, and Baby Boy. Throughout her lifetime, these people have been prayed for and lifted up to God for His blessings on their lives.
The births of their children turned Clyde and Genevieve into parents and a family of six. Their acceptance of Jesus Christ's invitation to come and follow Him, ushered them into His Kingdom and restored them to their true identities, Children of God. They were converted. The Heavenly Father wrote their names in His 'Book of Life'. Genevieve recorded the date in their family Bible as August 9, 1949. It was the beginning of a new life centered on living for Jesus. Their story of leaving farming and Clyde becoming a minister of the Gospel includes Genevieve receiving a call by God to become a pastor's wife. From milking cows and farm chores the two of them answered a call to change their life focus and preach the Word of God.
"What did Genevieve do for a career?" She cared for a family – cooked, cleaned, laundered clothes, ironed white shirts, sewed new dresses, mended jeans, grocery shopped, baked pies, and froze homemade ice cream. She fought flies, ants, roaches, and set raccoon and mouse traps. She knew how to dress chickens, iron- skillet-fry pieces of floured chicken, and clean up afterwards. Her hamburgers and gravy were a staple, along with pancakes and sugar syrup and yellow cakes that didn't need frosting. Strawberry shortcake – made from scratch with a recipe kept in her mind - brought joy to many gatherings. Her home was the place in her heart where she took care of her family every day all the time.
Working with people wanting to learn about following Jesus dominated her choices outside of her home. Along with summer camps with youth, she was a VBS Director-teacher-helper and Sunday School teacher. With adults she was a Bible Study Leader, a United Methodist Women's Officer, Guest Speaker, Thrift Sale Helper, and Devotions Leader. When preparing for presentations, she turned to the Bible and her suitcase of Christian education materials tying together how the principles of a faith based life would be exemplified in the way one encounters daily living.
Her career has been one of serving others, giving compassionate attention, and attending to the details that gave her family the ability to have freedom to explore many opportunities. Her work as a wife, mother, grandma, and friend was her career, and she made a difference in all the lives of people she touched.
In 2015, Genevieve moved to Ames, IA to make it easier for her family to stay in their homes as she lived independently at Northridge Village. While in Ames, she attended Christ Community Church with the Bents family. She completed the last of several embroidered baby quilts and was an avid reader of books. Friendships with people at Northridge Village developed around the dining room experiences. When her health status changed, Genevieve accepted more assistance from staff at Northridge Village and her family. Up until the last four months of her life she actively participated in phone conversations with friends and family and had the assurance she was participating in their lives as they were in hers. Even though leaving her Lucas County home was not an easy decision, she accepted the changes that were made at that time in her life.
Eva Genevieve Sparks was preceded in death by her husband in 2005, her parents, one younger brother - Darrell Dean Peterson, her father and mother-in-law, Daniel and Della Sparks, an infant Sparks granddaughter, her sons- in- law Jim Crock and Doug Phelps, and her and Clyde's daughter, Della. All, but two, of Genevieve's sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law have stepped into eternity. Many of Genevieve's Sparks nephews and nieces are gone. All of her Smith and Peterson aunts and uncles and many of her cousins have preceded her. Friends made through the years have gone before her.
Those left to remember her include children: Glenna (Bill) Bents of Ames, IA, Dan (Vickie) Sparks of Albany, OR, and Opal (Steve) of Platte City, MO, twelve grandchildren, and twenty-seven great-grandchildren. Others include first and second cousins through her grandparents David Franklin and Martha Lessie Smith: Allen Poush, Margaret Curtis, Connie Smith, Ruth and Don Argenta, Wilma Richards, Chuck Etter, Norma Hanson, Maxine Smith, Beth Carpenter, Neil and Donna Smith, and Rosemary Worrall. Through her grandparents, Charles and Anna Pierschbacher Peterson, Genevieve has remained in contact with Connie Erts, and Grace, Paul, and Peggy Peterson. Several Sparks nephews and nieces and two sisters-in-law, Ava Sparks (IA) and Frances Sparks (CA) continue to remember her friendship in their lives. Genevieve's Young at Heart Group in Chariton had a special place in her circle of friends. Her neighbors, Danny and Janni Cobb, Becki, Erick, Patricia, Chase, and Brandt have been forever included in her life. In addition, there are friends who have stayed in touch with her through the years and will remember her with joy and thankfulness.
Monetary gifts will be used for ministry/mission opportunities selected by Genevieve's family. Note on check "Eva G. Sparks Memorial" and make checks payable to "Lighthouse Vineyard Christian Fellowship" (serving as fiscal agent). Mail checks to: c/o Glenna Bents, 707 Furman, Ames, Iowa 50010. For more information feel free to reach out to Glenna at email@example.com or by phone (515) 290-9039.