DELAWARE — The Rev. Crate D. Sparks, 77, of Delaware, joined the choirs of Heaven Friday afternoon, March 16, 2012, while surrounded by and in the song of his family.
He was born in Culver, Ky., Dec. 18, 1934, to the late Marion and Linda Sparks. A U.S. Navy veteran, he came to Galena at the age of 18, moved to Mount Vernon in 1993 and on to Delaware in 2011 to be near his family.
He began preaching the gospel in 1968. A lifelong servant of God, he founded the Ashley, now Victory, Freewill Baptist Church, served the Blooming Grove Freewill Baptist Church, Pleasant Hill Freewill Baptist Church, and founded the Fairview Freewill Baptist Church, where he pastored until 2008. In 1993 he retired from Sunray Stove Company in Delaware, after 33 years of service.
He shared a wonderful life with his wife, family, and church. Known as the “Flower Fellow” because of his green thumb and fondness for gardening, both flower and vegetable. He also enjoyed playing the guitar and singing with the Sparks Family and several other groups over the years. A collector of antique tools, his desire was to be remembered for preaching the gospel.
A good family man, husband, father, and pop-paw, he is survived by his devoted wife of 56 years, Kathleen F. (Hubbard); son, Roger Sparks of Delaware; daughters, Deborah (Jim) Ballinger, Anita (Kris) Sparks of Delaware, Yvonne (Marc) Rayburn of Sunbury; grandchildren, Brooke Corwin, Clay and Noelle Sparks; brother, Conn (Edith) Sparks of Ironton; and sister, Gaythel Muterspaw of Yellow Springs.
Preceded in death by brothers, Ottis and Bert Sparks; sisters, Mavis Neff, Hazel McGinnis, Gladys Blevins, and Goldie Dickson.
Friends may call Monday from 5 to 9 p.m. at DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, Ohio 3 at 61, Sunbury, where services will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. with the Revs. Dorsel Messick and J.R. Smith officiating. Burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery in Mount Vernon with military honors provided by the Knox County Veterans Council.
Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Central Ohio in Newark.
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