Elwood (Corky) Sparks, 88, passed away on July 9, 2017 at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio. “It is often said that to be a winner, a team must have a sparkplug, a man who can inspire them to over reach their natural heights.” These words were written of Elwood Sparks by B. Klauber in 1948 regarding Corky’s days on the Ohio University basketball team. He was the spark of the OU team and of the Sparks family. Our Dad and our Pawpaw (grandfather and great-grandfather) inspired us all. His legacy started in Portsmouth, Ohio where he grew up, graduated, and taught. Corky spent his college years at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. At OU, he was a star on the basketball team and was so good he “had to be guarded when he got off the bus, ” a member of Theta Chi, and served in ROTC. Following graduation, he went into the Army (paratrooper) and became a Captain. Corky moved to Lancaster, Ohio in 1965 with his young family. He taught physical education and health at LHS for nearly 30 years – also serving as the head basketball coach and golf coach. During that time, he earned his Masters from Xavier with a little help from his friends Dennis Neff and Don Phillips. Upon his retirement, he spent many a day at Valley View Golf & Swim Club and Pleasant Valley golfing and teaching those around him the Sparks ways of life. He also served as a Mason, Shriner, and Member of the American Legion.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Mariana “Mickey” B. (Wilson) Sparks (our Mimi); his parents, Lahoma (Ratliff) Sparks and Walter Emory Sparks; his brother, Harold Sparks. Corky is survived and remembered by his sister, Ruby Hall of Lancaster, Ohio; daughter, Beth (Joe) Forquer; sons, Bob (Beth) Sparks of Lancaster, Ohio and Dan Sparks of Lancaster, Ohio; his grandchildren, Courtney Sparks (Gaston) White of Blacklick, Ohio, Bennett (Zarah) Forquer of Hilliard, Ohio, Amy Sparks (Vincent) Walters of New Albany, Ohio, Dr. Jonathan (Janna) Forquer of Lancaster, Ohio; his great-grandchildren, Violet, Graham, Bob, Evan, Keegan and Henry.
Our favorite Pawpaw-ism: Don’t just stand there with your teeth in your mouth. So…we don’t. Love you PawPaw.
Please visit www.OhioCremation.org to leave the family an online condolence.