Judith Elaine (Oborne) SparksAugust 24, 1938 ~ July 7, 2017 (age 78)
Judith Elaine Sparks, "Judy" was born August 25, 1938 and passed away on July 7th 2017, after a several-year battle with cancer. She was 79 years old.
She is survived by her husband, Sam, and her children, Thomas, Kelleen, Jennifer, Andrew, Alice and her sister, Betty DuVall.
Judy is the third of three sisters, characterized by her husband as "the best of the bunch!"
Judy was best known for her dedication to the happiness of others, particularly her children. But even before she had a family of her own to nurture, she could be found caring for her nieces and nephews, and to one nephew in particular who had special needs. He loved her. She was her mother's little sweetheart, the quiet little girl who brought love to her parents and to all those fortunate enough to come in contact with her.
She was the little girl photographed on the little pony, then the precious little flower who loved her "Laddy," the horse her daddy bought her one day. She was the silent child who rode from her home in Dayton, Ohio to make a life with her parents in El Monte, California. She was the little sister. She was the little girl who climbed the magnolia tree in her front yard and that watched with sheer pleasure as her father taught her how to feed the little birds who came to the lemon tree each morning just as the sun came up.
Judy was the young woman who attended that fateful DeMolay dance where her husband-to-be, Sam, cast eyes on her for the first time. "I'm going to marry that girl!" he said to his DeMolay friend. They were married on April 21, 1957, shortly after their sweet courtship began. She was the young wife who rooted for Sam's success at Mount Sac College, California Polytechnic College, and stood by him later when he received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington.
Judy was the young mother who so carefully guided the unsure footsteps of her little boy, Tommy, her first, second, and third daughters, Kelleen, Jennifer, and Alice, also her second son, Andrew. She pined over their struggles and celebrated their successes, never missing an opportunity to show them she loved them dearly by her constant encouragement, applause, and sometimes even tears.
As the mother of school-age children, she could be found serving as room-mother in their school classrooms, shuttling them to baseball, gymnastics, cheerleading, and seeing to the work of ensuring they had everything they needed, including many, many things they wanted, all on a budget that left her own needs on hold every time she perceived her children's and husband's needs exceeded her own. A more selfless woman is not to be found.
She was the brave 38-year-old mother, who --on her own-- took her five children on the vacation of their lives half way across the country to see famous sites and to create memories. Her husband, the demands of work unfortunately preventing his attendance, summed up her bravery when he said, "Your mother is the bravest, most determined woman I have ever seen."
She was the daughter-in-law who tenderly tended to Sam's mother as she battled and finally succumbed to cancer. "Ill go, Sam. She needs me. I'll be there for her."
As a grandmother, Judy cherished the little ones that came to her one by one. Birthday cards from "grandma" came every year in her neat, proper, and beautiful handwriting carrying sentiments that increased in meaning and wisdom as they each aged. When great-grandchildren came, she was vocal about having obtained life's greatest gifts. Her sixteen grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren were among her most cherished possessions.
During her twilight years, Judy cared for her beloved Sam, in decline resulting in a significant loss of memory. Ever concerned about his failing memory, she looked forward to and cherished every minute of visits by her family. "We'd so love to see you! Can you come to see Dad and me? We look so forward to seeing your faces! Can you send us pictures of our grandchildren? We love them so!"
During her last years in mortality, Judy struggled with an invasive cancer. She fought it with striking vigor because it threatened to take her from the service of those she loved. She didn't want to leave her Sam. "I can't go now. He needs me." She didn't want to leave her children. "I love you all so!" She wanted to caress the faces her little ones just one more time. "Oh, thank you for bringing them!" Judith Elaine Sparks wore out her life in the service of others. There is no greater monument than this. She was dearly loved and will be profoundly missed.
Funeral services for our mother will be held on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM at the LDS Church at 5175 S.W. 209th Avenue, Aloha, Oregon.