Virginia Gregory Sparks "Jennie" SALISBURY - Virginia Ann "Jennie" Gregory Sparks, daughter of the late Augustus Merrimon Gregory and Virginia Tomlinson Gregory and granddaughter of two US Senators, Augustus Summerfield Merrimon and Lee Slater Overman, died February 28, 2014 after a brief illness. An angel we have lost, heaven has gained. Jennie was preceded in death by her truly beloved sister Margie Gregory Hunt and survived by her brother Merrimon Gregory. She is survived by her loving husband, Andy Sparks of 54 years of marriage; her two children Slater Sparks of Lake Tahoe, CA and Christy Sparks Howey (Stan) of Charlotte and her truly loved grandchildren Harrison, Jack, Jim, Katy and Ginny. She was a graduate of Boyden High School in 1958 and attended Baldwin College in Staunton, Va., and St. Mary's College in Raleigh. Jennie was active in business as secretary and treasurer of Tomlinson Holdings of North Wilkesboro. She was recognized as one of the top females in North Carolina for her work with the Environmental Protection Agency in gasoline and oil clean-up. Jennie was active in all Historical Society activities including the Colonial Dames of America, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the American Revolution, Rowan Museum where she served as chairman numerous times as well as the Antique and Fashion show, Historical Salisbury and Friends of the Library, and many October Tours. Jennie served on the City planning board, the Tree Commission and various advisory committees. Jennie was a lifetime member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church serving in every way from Sunday School teacher, Alter Guild, several Vestry terms, and her proudest service as chairwoman of the Foundation for Foreign Help and Aid. Jennie's social life was full and a joy to her. She was a member of Oasis Book club, Travelers Club, Various Bridge Clubs, Heart Ball Committees, Rowan Antique Show. She had a gift for arranging flowers and loved to provide her arrangements for others. Service: 2:00 PM Tuesday at St. Luke's Episcopal Church conducted by Rev. Melanie A. Mudge with visitation following in the Parrish Hall. There will be a private family burial. Memorials may be sent to St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Organ Fund, 131 W. Council St., Salisbury, NC 28144; or Rowan County Museum, 202 N. Main St., Salisbury, NC 28144. Summersett Funeral Home is serving the Sparks family. Online condolences may be made at www.summersettfuneralhome.com.
Published in Charlotte Observer on Mar. 3, 2014