Edythe M. Sparks

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Edythe M. Sparks, age 79, of Santa Barbara, California passed away August 8, 2019 at Serenity House after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born May 9, 1940, in Rock Springs, Wyoming, to her late parents Dr. Albert and Ellen (Dick) Sudman. She came from a large family of five children. She grew up in Green River, Wyoming, and left home to attend college at the University of California, Berkeley. Go Bears! After graduation, she worked as a laboratory technician in medical research at the University of California, San Francisco. She married Dr. Lowell Sparks, Jr. and they began raising a family in San Francisco. Their three children, Lynne, Greg and Jennifer were born in San Francisco, and they moved to Santa Barbara in 1968 when Jennifer was a baby. Edy was a caring mother who supported her children's activities and hobbies such as piano lessons, marching band, swim team, boy and girl scouts, auto shop, and horseback riding. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and extended family, and hosted large gatherings at her home during the holidays. She proudly followed her grandchildren to many sporting events, ballet and theater performances, and Destination Imagination tournaments. Although she and Lowell divorced in 1987, both remained devoted to their children and grandchildren.

Edy was very active in the Santa Barbara community. She was a long-time member of the Assistance League, where she worked in the Thrift Shop, and was an enthusiastic member of the Ukulele Lulu's. She was a subscriber to the Santa Barbara Symphony, and participated as a volunteer in the Music Van program to introduce instrumental music to local school children. Edy was adventurous and loved to travel. She worked as a travel agent, and enjoyed planning trips with her clients. She visited many parts of the world including Europe, Canada, Africa, Costa Rica, South America and Cuba. She was a keen investor, and enjoyed researching and trading stocks. When tragedy struck and her house was lost in the Painted Cave fire, she was a survivor who loved planning and rebuilding her home, being on-site every day with her hard hat and tape measure. She had an eye for art, and was a collector of paintings, pottery and treasures from her travels. She was known for her sense of humor and her quick wit! She loved to read, debate politics and follow current events. She enjoyed playing bridge and being a member of her book club with many lifelong friends. She was an amazing friend who always picked up the phone and had time to listen. She will be greatly missed.

Edythe is survived by her sisters Mary (Herbert) Donovan, Margaret (Bob) Johnson and Ellen (Mike) Davidson; and her children Lynne Sparks (Keith Barker) of Santa Barbara, Greg (Vicky) Sparks of Libertyville, Illinois, and Jennifer Sparks of Sacramento. She also leaves behind her grandchildren Margot, Grace, and Kevin Barker, and Curtis, Adam and Eric Sparks. She was preceded in death by her brother, Theodore Sudman in 1965.

There will be a memorial for Edythe at Valle Verde Senior Living Community (900 Calle De Los Amigos, Santa Barbara) at Quail Lodge Lounge on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 11 am. All friends and family are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in her name to the Assistance League of Santa Barbara, or the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.

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