SPARKES, Karen Sue (nee Link)
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June 18, 1945 - May 3, 2014
Karen passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Agapé Hospice, from thyroid cancer. Special thanks to Drs. Peter Dunham and David Hanley for many years of excellent care, and to Drs. Gary Gelfand, Janice Pasieka, John Kelly and Stephan DuPlessis, whose surgical skills extended her life. Thanks also to the physicians and staff of the Foothills Hospital, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, palliative care teams, Agapé Hospice and Alberta Health Services. Karen was born and raised in Independence, Missouri, along with her three brothers, Rick, Ron and Tim, by loving parents Dr. Vance Link and Catherine Link. She graduated from the University of Iowa at the top of her class and, in keeping with her love of children and education, became an elementary school teacher. She settled in Calgary in 1970 with David Sparkes, her husband of 47 years, and raised four wonderful children, Julie (Mark) Fisher, Jennifer (Keith Pearce), Rebecca (Warren Yunker) and Daniel (Andrea), who have blessed them with seven lovely grandchildren. Karen will be remembered by those who knew her as a kind and gracious person. She was a good listener and always very interested in the lives of everyone she met. She was a wonderful homemaker, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was admired for her special skills of quilting, knitting, sewing and folk art. She will be dearly missed, and her presence will always be with us. A Memorial Gathering of friends and family will be held at the Springbank Heritage Club (244168 Range Road 33, Calgary, AB) on Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, donations in Karen's memory can be made to the Agapé Hospice, 1302 – 8 Avenue N.W., Calgary AB, T2N 1B8 (Telephone 403-282-6588, www.agapehospice.ca) or the Alberta Cancer Foundation c/o Tom Baker Cancer Centre, 1331 – 29 Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 4N2 (Telephone 1-866-412-4222, www.albertacancer.ca/ memorial). In living memory of Karen Sparkes, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Published in The Calgary Herald on May 7, 2014