Wanda Sparks

June 26, 1934 – Sept 27, 2022


September 29, 2022 - 3:23 PM

Wanda Sparks

Wanda Benner was born on June 26, 1934 to Alta Fay Sharpe Benner and Carl Benner. She passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Iola. Wanda was a high-spirited young girl who met and married her Knox City High School teacher, Wesley Perle Sparks. Out of this union, came two children, Constance and Terry. 

Wanda spent her time nurturing her family and assisting Wesley as he studied in college and later taught music at schools in Iowa and Missouri. Wanda was an accomplished classical pianist and served as the primary accompanist for Wesley’s students during his tenure at these schools. She also frequently played at school functions and weddings. After their children were grown, Wanda worked as a pastry chef at various St. Louis restaurants and did volunteer work at Christian Northeast Hospital. Her desserts were legendary and were frequently written up in books and magazines in the St. Louis area.

After retirement, Wanda and Wesley moved from St. Louis to Kirksville, Mo., where Wanda and Wesley became members of Church of God Holiness where they developed many special friendships.

Wanda was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Wesley Sparks, her parents, and her brother, Carl Wayne Benner.

Wanda is survived by her daughter, Constance and son-in-law, John Toler; her son, Terry and daughter-in-law, Cheryl; her grandchildren, Laura Dale and husband David; Ryan Sparks and wife Adie; Shawn Sparks and wife Aubrey; Eric Sparks and wife Jenna; and her sister-in-law, Carol Benner. In addition, she is survived by 13 great-grandchildren, six nieces and nephews and many special friends.

Special thanks to the Greystone Assisted Living Staff for providing wonderful compassionate care during her final days. 

A graveside service will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at David-Playle-Hudson-Rimer funeral home in Kirksville, Mo.



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