News Death Notice
SPARKS, Carol C. 77, of Springfield, died on August 23, 2013 after a struggle with brain cancer. Carol was the daughter of Harry L. and Martha M. Cowden of Urbana. She was a 1953 graduate of Urbana High School, and a 1957 graduate of Muskingum College with a B.A. in Speech and English. Carol engaged in graduate work in speech at Miami University where she was also a head resident for a women's dormitory and an academic advisor. She was the wife of Franklin Sparks, Pastor Emeritus of Northminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield. Carol spent over 25 years in the teaching profession. She was an English teacher with the Tecumseh Local School District for 22 years, from 1975 to 1997. She taught English at New Carlisle Middle School for nine years, and then moved to Tecumseh High School, teaching Advanced Composition, British Literature, Theater Arts, and Advanced Placement English. She was a national grader for both the Advanced Placement English exam and the SAT exams. She was an advisor and honorary member of the Tecumseh High School National Honor Society. In 1980 she was recognized by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation as an outstanding teacher. She was a presenter for the National Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English. In 1991 she was one of four local teachers in Clark County to be awarded the annual "Excellence in Teaching Award" presented by the Springfield Rotary Club
. Carol was often voted the "best teacher," "fairest teacher," and "most interesting teacher" by her students. Aside from her professional career, she was a faithful member of Northminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield, a member of the women's philanthropic organization P.E.O and the women's teaching honorary Delta Kappa Gamma. Carol was an avid reader, swimmer, sports fan and hospital volunteer. She travelled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, had a zest for life and will be remembered for her quick sense of humor. Carol was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She is survived by her husband Franklin Sparks, son Bradley (Lynette) Sparks of Buffalo, NY; daughters Sharon Sparks and husband Miguel Calvo of Madrid, Spain; and Brenda (Brian) Fisher of Cincinnati, Ohio. She is also survived by five grandchildren: Meredith and Evan Sparks of Buffalo, NY, Carolyn and Grant Fisher of Cincinnati, and Cristina Calvo Sparks of Madrid, Spain. A memorial service will be held at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 400 Villa Rd. Spfld. OH 45503, at 3:00 on Sept. 1st. Visitation will be from 1:30-2:45 in the church family room. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Carol's name to Northminster Church and/or to P.E.O., 2685 Prestwick Village, Spfld. OH 45503, indicating Ohio Scholarships Fund 2. Arrangements handled by CONROY FUNERAL HOME.