Mary Del Sparks, age 93, passed away on Friday, January 10, 2020 at Country Place Senior Living in Fort Scott where she had been a resident for two years.
Mary Del was born on September 21, 1926 in Pittsburg, KS. She was the daughter of Peter A. and H. Leota Dixon Esch. She attended St. Mary’s School in Pittsburg and graduated from St. Mary’s Colgan High School with the class of 1944. Mary Del graduated from Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg, now called Pittsburg State University, in 1948. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education
Mary Del married James (Sparky) Sparks of Arma, KS after meeting in college. They were married on August 8, 1948 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Pittsburg. Sparky and Mary Del had four daughters.
Jim preceded her in death on June 30, 1991.
Mary Del is survived by her daughters and son-n-laws J.W. and Diana Endicott of Fort Scott, Rick and Kim Farmer of Rogers, AR. and Shelly Sparks of Dallas, TX. Also surviving are granddaughters and their husbands: Mathew and Mary Foster, Cris and Laura Corey, Jake and Susan Brown, Cody and D’Ambra Hawkins, Kayla Stillwagon, Heather Townzen and Steven and Hillary Townsley; two grandsons: Mathew Hampton and Christopher Stillwagon as well as 15 great-grandchildren. In addition, Mary Del is survived by her brothers and their wives Pete and Shirley Esch of Fayettville, AR and David and Masolyne Esch of Joplin, MO.
Mary Del was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her daughter Kay Lynn Stillwagon, her brother John Gerald Esch and sisters-n-law Betty Esch and Louise Esch.
Mary Del taught school in Crawford and Bourbon Counties. She was a member of Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Chapter FU PEO and past president of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority. Mary Del devoted her life to caring for her friends and family. She was a loyal friend to many who found her always available when needed. She was never too busy to offer support to others. Mary Del’s sense of style and fashion were outdone only by her quick wit and delightful sense of humor, always gracious. Mary Del was loved and admired by all who knew her.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Fort Scott Area Community Foundation in care of Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home.
Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial will be held for the family. Graveside services for friends and family will be at Fort Scott National Cemetery at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, January 17, 2020.
Family will receive friends following the graveside services at the Empress Event Center, 7 N. Main in Fort Scott.