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Wilburn Franklin Sparks
April 4, 1937 ~ October 8, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Wilburn F. Sparks, 86, of Jackson passed away peacefully Sunday, October 8, 2023 at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau with family by his side.
He was born April 4, 1937 in Tallapoosa, Missouri to Jessie Joe and Effie Vinson Sparks. He and the love of his life, Brenda C. Crader, were married October 30, 1965 at Crump General Baptist Church. After meeting at the Jackson Skating Rink, they shared over 56 years honoring their commitment to God and one another until Brenda went home to be with the Lord on August 4, 2022.
Wilburn was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 10, 1959. He was honorably discharged on February 27, 1961 as a Private First Class. Faithful and hardworking, Wilburn was a laborer at the Jackson Shoe Factory and Lewis Bakery's Bunny Bread until they each closed. He then worked at Spartech Plastics until he retired. He was a member of Cape County Cowboy Church and previously a member of First General Baptist Church in Jackson.
His family remembers him for his quiet nature, love of the Lord and passion for all things outdoors. He enjoyed deer hunting, farming, gardening and tinkering outside. He found joy in time spent with family and attending his grandchildren's school and sporting events. His grandchildren will cherish memories of fishing, hunting, archery, playing games and Papa always keeping their "blue car" charged and ready for adventures at grandma and grandpa's house.
Loving survivors include two sons, Kevin (Amber) Sparks and Garrett (Amy) Sparks, both of Jackson; a daughter, Amber (Jason) Weaver of St. Louis; eleven grandchildren, BreeAnna (Adam), Bryce, Braydon, Noah, Grant, Elise, Alana, Toby, Gavin, Caydence and Teegan; a brother-in-law, R. David (Gail) Crader; and many special nephews, nieces, cousins and in-laws.
In addition to his wife, Brenda, he was preceded in death by his parents, a daughter-in-law, Shelley Sparks, 6 brothers, Robert Lee Howard, Elwood Sparks, Laden Sparks, Hoit Sparks, Denford Sparks, Clayton Sparks and 3 sisters, Louise King, Bertha Sparks and Pauline Jerome.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson. Funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the funeral home, with the Rev. Mike Huffman officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow in Russell Heights Cemetery.
Memorials may take the form of contributions to the Missouri Veterans Home.