“To My Children: Be kind to each other. Love, Mom” This note was found in Dorothy’s final papers and says everything about who she was and will always be.
Dorothy was born in the spring on May 7, 1934. Her love of the spring, gardening, and flowers, especially yellow ones would always be part of her. Her parents, Martin and Victoria, sister Fannie and brother Earl Ray moved from Mill Creek, near Mazie, Kentucky, to Terryville where Dorothy attended Martha Elementary School and then Blaine High School. While attending high school, she met Charles Sparks and they fell in love. In the early 1950s, Dorothy’s family moved to Columbus, Ohio, looking for work, like so many before them. Dorothy graduated as the Salutatorian from Hilliard High School. After Charles returned from Korea where he served in the United States Marine Corps, they were married on June 6, 1954. Children Lynn, Dave, and Sandi were born and by 1957, Dorothy was just 23 with three kids in diapers.
In 1960, Dorothy and Charles decided to return to Eastern Kentucky and moved to Blaine, on Cains Creek, where Dorothy would spend the rest of her life. In 1962, Sam was born rounding out the family to six. For most of the 1960s, Charles continued to work in Ohio, returning to Cains Creek every weekend. As a result, Dorothy did all the “ raising ”, both hard and easy, ensuring the children had everything she could provide them. She continued to garden and farm, hoeing tobacco with four kids in the spring and summer, and canning fruit and vegetables in the late summer and fall. By the middle of the 1970s, the children were starting to leave the nest one by one. In 1979, Charles passed away after a short and sudden illness. Dorothy and Charles had been married 25 years. Her wedding ring stayed on her finger for the last 40 years of her life.
In 1979, Dorothy’s first grandchild, Nick, was born, and not surprisingly, her love as a grandmother was unsurpassed. In the years following, more grandchildren would come: Jessica, Bonny, Brian, Sam, Holli, Mallory, Jim Bob, Joe Joe, and Samantha. She loved, taught, supported, listened, and was always there for them all. Her home was full of family photographs, children, grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. Over the years, her niece Brenda became part of Dorothy’s closest circle, in her heart, and every bit one of her own children.
She loved gardening, was an avid reader and crossword puzzler, and was always interested in learning. She more than held her own while watching Jeopardy. For years, the Lawrence County Public Library Bookmobile brought her favorite books to her door step, even knowing her favorite authors. As a quilter, she made dozens of beautiful quilts and ensured they were given to the family. She did it out of love and those quilts will serve as a constant reminder of her kindness and unconditional love. Dorothy’s children Lynn (Bert), Dave (Peggy), Sandi, and Sam (Cynthia) and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren will always have and share the goodness that she shared with them.
Dorothy passed away on January 29, 2020, following an illness. She leaves a deep legacy of love and kindness to family, friends, and neighbors, and will always be remembered as someone who gave her all to everyone she met.
Funeral services will be held at Young Funeral Home, Louisa, Kentucky, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 8, 2020. Burial will follow in the Sparks Cemetery. Family and friends may visit the family at the funeral home on Friday, February, 7, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Lawrence County Public Library.
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Lawrence County Public Library
102 West Main Street, Louisa KY 41230