Leward W. “Sparky” Sparks went home to be with his Lord on Friday, June 29, 2018 with family at his side. He was born January 15, 1929 in Oak Grove, Arkansas to Clarence and Ollie Sparks and graduated from Guernsey High School in Guernsey, Arkansas in 1945. Leward’s love story with Jane Dodds began in marriage on July 3, 1946 in Arkansas, where he worked for the City of Hope as a policeman. The couple moved to Lea County in March of 1951. He worked for Skelly Oil in Eunice; Gulf Oil in Hobbs, and in 1953 he started working for American National Insurance in Lovington and Hobbs. He also was a representative for Fidelity Insurance. Leward owned and operated Borden’s Distributorship for Lea County from the mid 1960’s until he retired in 1989. After retirement he and Jane spent a lot of time at their home in Ruidoso and traveled to every part of the United States and also went to Canada and Europe.
Leward accepted Christ and was baptized at 1st Christian Church in Hope, Arkansas in 1946. He was a member of 1st Christian Church in Hobbs, NM for over 60 years where he served as a Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon, Elder, Chairman of the Board and was an Elder Emeritus. He loved his Sunday School class especially when Dennis Glasgow taught it and he loved hosting their class Christmas parties at their home for years. He loved the Lord and he loved his church family.
Second only to the Lord was his love for his family. There are no words to describe the deep devotion he showed his family through his hard work, dedication, sound advice, encouragement, and words of love. His example as a Christian, a husband, and a father have left a legacy that will continue through generations.
Leward or “Sparky” as he was called, loved people and never met a stranger. He had friends in all walks of life. At the McDonald’s morning coffee group, he was known as the C.E.O. and he loved starting his days off visiting, laughing and solving the problems of the world with them.
Through the years he belonged to the downtown Lion’s Club; Ruidoso Jockey Club, Underwriters Association, and the Hospital Auxiliary. He helped build the first houses for Habitat for Humanity in Hobbs and volunteered at the Humane Society Thrift Store in Ruidoso, as well as, serving as a Red Man at the hospital. He enjoyed going to the horse races and even owned a few race horses at one time.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Jane Sparks; daughter Cindy and her husband Sam Sample of Albuquerque; son Mark Sparks and his wife Dana of Odessa, TX; Lisa and her husband Eddie Rodgers of Wylie Texas; 10 grandchildren; Kana and her husband Kenny McPeters, Sandi and her husband John Wilson, Su-Zette Sparks, Scott Sample and his wife Cara, Kollin Burnam, Kaycee and her husband John Pound, Ian Hancox and his wife Michelle, Maegan Rodgers, Evan Rodgers, and Lace’ Rodgers; 9 great grandchildren; Paul White, Lilly Sample, Denam Sample, Karter Burnam, Koltin Burnam, Ayden Abrams, Dakota Pound, Courtney Schiel, and Jace Schiel. He is preceded in death by his parents, daughter Karyl Burnam and her husband Kim Burnam, a sister Delora Hayes, brothers R.C. Sparks, Verbon Sparks and Lawrence Sparks.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to 1st Christian Church in his memory.
Sparky was always a cheerful and friendly man. Terri and I have always had a lot of respect and love for him and Jane!
We pray for peace and strength for the family.
Rodney & Terri MiddletonHobbs, NM
I had the privilege of working for Sparky for seven years up to his retirement. He was the greatest boss you can ever have. Sparky was the most gracious and willingness man that I have ever known. He taught me a lot of things in life that I still use today. He took care of my family and me in more ways than one. I will never forget Sparky. Just want to let him know “we sold a lot of ice cream here in Lea County.” I also enjoyed our visits here in the last few years. I always made sure I would visit Sparky when I came back to Hobbs. God bless the family and continued prayers.
Respectfully and with love,
Terry and Christine Young
Terry and Christine YoungHumble, TX
Dorcas spaldingHobbs, NM
May the Lord wrap his loving arms around your family and hold you close.
Leward was a man among men, larger than life , and what an honor it is that I can say that I knew the man, the myth the legend!!
His wisdom and words to me as a young man we always taken to heart, and that smile was a blessing to always see.
Sharon and I send our love and prayers.
Respectfully and with Love
Sharon and Craig WilliamsAztec, NM