Ms. Nina B. Sparks, age 90 of Deport, died in Paris Regional Medical Center, Tuesday, March 8, 2011. Funeral Services have been scheduled for Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church of Deport with Reverends Debra May and Vivian Crowson officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery with Joe Gage, Joe Ladd, Tom Webb, Richard Crowson, Gilbert Arriaga, Morris Foster and Joe Travis Kelsey serving as pallbearers. Wood Funeral Homes, Deport have charge of the arrangements. The family will receive friends at 1:00pm in the fellowship hall of the church following a noon meal.
Nina was born January 31, 1921 in the Shady Grove Community of Lamar County, the daughter of W.G. and Ella Essary. While attending the Ashland School in Shady Grove, she pitched for the boy's baseball team. She graduated from Deport High School in 1935. She and her sister then enrolled at Paris Jr. College where they were instrumental in beginning a girl's basketball program there. She then received her Bachelors and Masters of Education from East Texas Teacher's College. She taught for over 40 years beginning at Pattonville and then spending the last 25 years at Bryan Adam's High School where she was the Director of the Bryan Adam's Belles. While she was director, the Belles toured all over the nation and performed at the Nixon Inaugural Celebration and the Rose Bowl. After her retirement in 1982, she returned to Deport where she was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, serving in many offices from Sunday School Superintendant to Administrative Chair. At the time of her death she was involved in outreach and was co-director of the church's food pantry. She was a volunteer for Paris Regional Medical Center, beginning in 1982 and remaining until June of 2010. While at Paris Regional she was an officer for the Volunteer Program. She was also a member and former officer of both the Lamar/Delta Retired Teacher Association and the Texas Retired Teacher Association. She was a founding member of the Deport Bucket Brigade, was a large supporter of Project Deport and was an election worker in the City Elections.
Survivors include nieces and nephews, Peggy Parsons ofPattonville, Mike Sparks of Deport, Judy Ellington and husband, Bob ofHuntsville, Larry Sparks and wife Pat of Longmont, Colorado, and Jerry Sparks of Alvarado; sister-in-law, Mrs. Eloise Sparks of Deport; several great nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her twin, Ina Sparks on May 21, 2000; brothers, Lundy, Austin, Elmer and Jim; niece, Frieda Winters, nephews, Charles Sparks, Morris Sparks, and Keith Parsons.
Memorials may be made to
First United Methodist Church Children's Ministry-P.O. Box 126, Deport, TX 75435
Project Deport-P.O. Box 65, Deport, TX 75435
Deport Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 498, Deport, TX 75435.