Thursday, February 8, 2007

Charles E. Sparks, 56, died at 5:10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, 2007, as the result of a one-car vehicular accident in Golden.

He was born on Feb. 1, 1951, in Coweta, Ga., the son of Charles Ellis and Lydia Russell Sparks. He was a veteran of the U. S. Army having served three tours in Vietnam. He served as a crew chief on a Huey helicopter and received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Republic of South Vietnam Medal of Valor. He was a computer network engineer and a member of the V.F.W. Post #5293 in Joplin and moved to Golden three years ago.

He married Barbara (Ford) Merck on March 3, 2000, in Charleston, South Carolina. She survives.

Additional survivors include: one stepson, Keith Smith, of Tulsa, Okla.; one stepdaughter, Windy Smith, of Joplin; and nine step-grandchildren. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Charles E. Sparks.

Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at the White Funeral Home, Cassville. Wayne Deffenbaugh, minister, will be officiating. military honors will be performed by the Juliet Team of the Missouri National Guard Military Funeral Honors Program. The family will receive friends from 12 p.m., noon, until time of service on Thursday, and will also have a gathering of friends following the service at 4 p.m. at the Bear Ridge House in Eureka Springs, Ark. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., at a later date.

Arrangements are under the direction of the White Funeral Home, Cassville.