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Marie C. Sparks, 96

Aug 14, 2011

Marie Sparks

Buffalo Center, Iowa – Marie C. Sparks, of Buffalo Center, Iowa, died Sunday, July 31, 2011, at Timely Mission Nursing Home at the age of 96.

Funeral Services were held Aug. 4, 2011, at United Methodist Church in Buffalo Center. The Rev. Deb Devine officiated. A private family burial took place at Riverside Cemetery in Blue Earth.

She was born April 1, 1915, in Germania, Iowa (now Lakota, Iowa) to Henry and Ella Berschman Kline. She was baptized in the Lutheran Church in 1917 and also was confirmed there. Marie attended the Lakota School, graduating from there in 1932.

On May 30, 1932, Marie married Wilber Sparks, of Buffalo Center, in a small town in South Dakota. To this union was born three children, Sandra (Curt) Bashans, of Buffalo Center, Terry (deceased), and Michael (deceased) (Kathy), of Urbandale, Iowa.

During Bill and Marie’s time together, they operated the theater in Buffalo Center, were café owners in Graettinger, Iowa, and then moved to Wichita Falls, Texas, where Bill was in civil services as a teletype operator at Shepherd Field Air Base. Marie worked in a garment factory and the mortar shell factory making 81mm mortar shells during World War II.

They moved back to Blue Earth in 1949. At that time Marie worked at the White House Café before becoming the office manager and bookkeeper at the Blue Earth Hospital in 1952, working there for 14 years. Bill died in 1966. She worked at the courthouse in Blue Earth one year before becoming a housemother at Le Mars College in 1968. She then moved back to Blue Earth in 1972 and became the activity director at St. Luke’s Nursing Home until 1985 when she retired.

While in Blue Earth, she was active in the Methodist Church. She helped establish the “food shelf” which continues to provide temporary help for people. In 1987, the Mitchell Chautaugua Club voted her the 1987 Blue Earth Woman of Achievement. Marie also received the “Service to Mankind Award” in 1988. She was involved in Senior Citizens and was a member of Eastern Star.

Marie moved to Buffalo Center in 1993 to be near her daughter and family. She became a member of the Buffalo Center United Methodist Church and the Senior Citizen group. She enjoyed playing cards and loved to make quilts for her family and friends. Making homemade candy was her specialty.

She is survived by her daughter, Sandra (Curt) Bashans, of Buffalo?Center; sister, Della Grace Riley, of Glendale, Ariz.; daughter-in-law, Kathy Sparks, of Urbandale; three grandchildren, Deanne (Brian) Hobbs, of Buffalo Center, Brian Bashans, of Albert Lea, Chad (Amy) Sparks, of Polk City, Iowa, Clancy Maudsley, Megan Nelson and Sarah Bolten, all of Des Moines; 10 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Bill; sons, Terry and Michael; sister, Joanne Mondahl; and grandson, TJ Maudsley.