Donna L. Sparks passed away Sunday, November 20, 2016 in Bradenton Florida. She loved fresh flowers and held dear to her heart the many charities that support the elderly, children and pets. Donations to a charity of your choice in her name or sending flowers in her memory are both welcome. Donna wanted her life to be remembered with celebration not sorrow. To honor this wish we ask that you raise your glass to the sky and make a toast to her along with us where ever you may be, this Saturday, November 26th at...
Donna L. Sparks passed away Sunday, November 20, 2016 in Bradenton Florida. She loved fresh flowers and held dear to her heart the many charities that support the elderly, children and pets. Donations to a charity of your choice in her name or sending flowers in her memory are both welcome. Donna wanted her life to be remembered with celebration not sorrow. To honor this wish we ask that you raise your glass to the sky and make a toast to her along with us where ever you may be, this Saturday, November 26th at sunset! We will also be releasing balloons with messages to her from one of her favorite spots on the beach during sunset. Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers.
Please continue reading to learn more about our loving wife, mother and grandmother.
With a focus towards harmony and peace, Donna had a warm and gentle soul. A genuine and loyal person, she was a mentor to many and a natural "teacher" whose compassion towards understanding the needs of others revealed an unselfishness which allowed her to bring out the very best in everything and everyone she touched. Donna was a person who genuinely understood and cared for others, making powerful connections with those she knew. Whether you were family, friend, or a casual acquaintance, Donna was the most generous, gracious and caring friend one could have. She always had your back.
Born in Washington DC to Orville & Alice Loeffler, her imagination and creativity was evident from an early age as her love for music and song began to take shape. Donna grew up with her younger sister Janet in Haddonfield New Jersey and graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School in 1957. During these years her honesty and integrity would form the core of who she would become. Always an empathetic listener, she easily related to others and constantly offered her encouragement and support. Donna carried these traits into her adult life and they served as many reasons why family and friends found her such a joy to be around.
Donna believed in and placed a high value on education and did well in school. This did not come easy and she worked very hard to achieve often relying on her inner strength and creativities to lead her through. Following high school she attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton New Jersey where she would graduate in 1961 with a degree in music. On June 16, 1962, Donna married Eugene Joseph Sparks. Three children (Mark, Gregg and Alicen) would follow.
A devoted, not to mention extremely tolerant mother; she would now begin to balance her family and career. A pioneer in the field of working mothers, Donna would spend her early working years as the Choir Director for churches in Topeka Kansas, Minneapolis Minnesota and St. Louis Missouri. States in which each of her children were born. Along the way she would become instrumental in forming and further developing nursery and pre-schools at the Minneapolis and St. Louis locations. Later in life and after raising her family, Donna would attend Southeast Missouri State University to renew her teaching credentials and begin teaching elementary school music at the age of 50 once again.
With her children grown and ready to begin the next chapter in her life; Donna and her husband would move to Florida to be closer to the beaches and ocean she so dearly loved. Her mother and father would soon follow and after raising her family she would focus her attention on being a caring daughter to her aging parents. Grandchildren would come next, becoming a major focus of her life. Donna enjoyed visiting family and continued to stay in touch with friends, taking trips to the beaches and mountains throughout the country that would ultimately bring her loved ones together again. She continued to enjoy music and song, gardening, reading and was sure to be involved in anything her children and grand children loved to do.
There is no soul greater or heart deeper and you are gone much too soon. The world is blessed to have known such an amazing woman. We thank you for being a part of our life, for the examples you have set, the lessons you have taught and the principles to which you are endeared. You have given us what we really needed to know about how to live and what to do and how to be and we promise as husband, sons, daughters and grandchildren to honor your legacy and celebrate your life, every day until we meet again. With all our love.
Donna will be laid to rest in Largo Florida and was preceded in death by her parents (Orville and Alice Loeffler), her brother-in-law and nephew (Gilbert and John Copley), She is survived by her husband Eugene Sparks, her sons Mark Sparks and wife Jennifer, Gregg Sparks and wife Lisa and her daughter Alicen and husband Bill Gordon, her step children Joey, Julie, Jason & Justin, her grandchildren Brayden, Ryan & Madison, her step grand children Joli, Gianna, Arturo, Luca, Daphne, Austin, Jackson, Emma, Oliver & Rickey.